Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa must learn to be polite when talking about serious and sensitive matters that hinge on other people’s livelihood.
Ngulube was reacting to Shawa’s statement that he could not conclude that Zambia would record a poor harvest owing to the late delivery of inputs because farmers were very resilient and could adapt to any conditions.
“The statement from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture is a very careless statement. That statement is very injurious and it’s an insult to the farmers and a person who is responsible for the failure to deliver inputs on time should not actually tease the farmers. Does that Julius Shawa even know that farmers use the same crops they grow to send children to school and to buy medicals for their animals? That statement by Mr Shawa should be condemned in the greatest sense and then in future, we should learn to be polite when talking about serious and sensitive matters of this nature,” Ngulube said.
Ngulube said it was embarrassing for the PS to advise farmers to adapt because it showed that he did not care how the farmers were feeling.
“When you tell farmers they will adapt, in short you are trying to say that you don’t care how the farmers are feeling and it’s an embarrassment any way for a Permanent Secretary to say the farmers will adapt, they are resilient. Adapt to what? To poverty? We are already suffering so why should we adapt to some more suffering? That is not the reason why people elect governments. People elect governments to better their lives, to change things. But, if the Permanent Secretary can come up with such a statement, well then its embarrassing and its actually unfortunate that he can come out in the open with such a statement,” said Ngulube.