The increase in the pump price of fuel has sparked angry demonstration in some parts of the country with minibus and taxi drivers in Eastern Province threatening to park their vehicles unless government explains comprehensively the sudden increase which they believe would choke their businesses.
The minibus and taxi drivers have demanded that there must be an immediate increase in the transport fares that would correspond to the increase in the pump price of petrol and diesel.
The taxi and minibus drivers have been incensed that there had been several fuel hikes in the last two years and yet the PF government had promised lower prices in fuel and more money in pockets.
In Chipata, taxi drivers parked their vehicles at the city’s civic centre where they forced civic leaders to address them on the sudden increase in fuel prices.
The civic leaders in Chipata promised resolve their problems and that they would meet again on Thursday next to discuss the possibilities of increasing bus and taxi fares.
The government has however been challenged to explain why it has continued to source expensive fuel through Trafigura, which has made the lives of many Zambians unbearable.
MMD Copperbelt Spokesperson Yotam Mtayachalo said the government should give a comprehensive statement on why the same company which imported contaminated fuel in the country has continued to supply Zambia with fuel.
He said it was clear that there would be a fuel price hike because of the PF’s failure to manage the economy.
“We saw it coming because of the poor performance of the kwacha against the dollar under the leadership of President Sata,” Mutayachalo said.
Mtayachalo said Zambia’s economy was much better under MMD than today under the current leadership of President Sata and that he was disappointed with President Sata for failing to manage the economy of our country. We also know that Mr Sata went into government without any idea on how to manage the economy,” Mutayachalo said
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) government have no sympathy for the many poor Zambians.
Mr Hichilema strongly condemned the increase of fuel, a situation he said would worsen poverty levels of many Zambians because fuel was the driver of any economy.
“Fuel is a driver of any economy and when it is increased, the cost of doing business will have to go up and consequently increase the cost of living,” Hichilema said.
He said Zambians have been suffering for so many years and the high cost of fuel would only worsen their situation.
Mr Hichilema said the increase in fuel price would also increase unemployment levels in Zambia which has been a major challenge to the government.