The 90 day promises made by the Patriotic Front (PF) were mere political rhetoric which should not be taken literally, says Commerce Deputy Minister Miles Sampa.
Featuring on Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme on Sunday Mr. Sampa who is PF Matero Constituency Member of Parliament said that it was impossible for any government to fulfill its promises within 90 days.
He further said that the 90 days the PF promised the people of Zambia was just political rhetoric.
Mr. Sampa said that the 90 days was a political tactic which was targeted at getting support from the people of Zambia.
“The 90 days we talked about or promised did not exactly mean that. It was campaign rhetoric. It was a political tactic. There is a process in everything that man does. It is like a woman cooking nshima you don’t just get water and ubunga (mealie meal) and you start cooking, it is a process. This time we are getting money from the rich people, it is also a process, you cannot get money from them so easily,” he said.
Mr. Sampa accused the tabloids in apparent reference to the Daily Nation Newspapers of being less than truthful about the maize deal Zambia entered with Zimbabwe, saying that there was no free maize contract the country had entered into with Zimbabwe
And on the same programmes MMD communications director Muhabi Lungu warned that food riots of 1986 were now unavoidable if President Michael Sata does not reverse the removal of subsidies on fuel and mealie meal.
Mr. Lungu said that it was shameful for the PF government to fail to explain the removal of subsidy on essential commodities which would impact negatively on the livelihood of the poor people.
He warned that the path the PF government had taken will disadvantage poor people who were currently struggling to put food on the table for their families.
Mr. Lungu said it was strange and immoral for the PF government to fail to cut on unnecessary expenditures such as running a bloated government of about 70 to 80 ministers and induced by-elections which were a cost to the Zambian people.
He said that the route the PF has taken in governance was confusing and frustrating the people of Zambia, adding that the claim that removal of subsidy on maize and fuel would help this government save for development was another cheap lie as they kept on embarking on projects which were unsustainable.
Mr. Lungu said that the PF government was being dishonest to suggest that they had removed subsidy on fuel and maize when the actual subsidy was on Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) where farmers would this year contribute K100 for a bag of fertilizer.
“The impact will be a bad one if they do not manage it properly. I am not being a prophet of doom. I am just saying that people are going to suffer and I urge the PF and Mr Sampa to speak to President Michael Sata to reconsider the decision and ensure that if you are going to remove the subsidy, give it a well defined time frame,” he said.
Mr. Lungu further said that it was surprising that the PF government removed the subsidy when the President and Ministers upon forming government had their salaries and allowances increased, adding that it was shameful that President Sata was now asking Zambians to sacrifice by tightening their belts.
He said that President Sata’s reasoning on the removal of subsidies would affect poor people who will be especialy affected on things like transport and mealie meal.
Mr. Lungu said that it was high time the PF government stopped the reckless and arrogant way of managing the affairs of the nation by the carelessly promoting costly by-elections and save funds for other activities.