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Mealie meal has become too expensive for ordinary Zambians – MsoniBy Ulande Nkomesha on 21 Aug 2019
All People’s Congress (APC) party president Nason Msoni says Zambians can only be guaranteed of an improved life if they change government in 2021 because the PF regime has failed to run the economy.
And Msoni says President Edgar Lungu should take the hunger situation seriously as it borders on national food security.
In an interview, Msoni said Zambians had been subjected to starvation by government’s failure to ensure that prices of mealie meal, which was selling at over K140 per 25Kg breakfast bag in some areas, were kept affordable.
“I know prices are adjusted on a different amounts, but mainly a bag at K150, K145 thereabouts, is too high for our ordinary citizens because on average, we have family of six, seven, eight people and they need two to three bags a month looking at the wages, particularly, for public workers, who recently got a poke in the eye kind of increment of four per cent; the majority of our people have been consigned to starvation by a reckless, irresponsible government that has recklessly exported maize to make money for themselves and their friends and this is the situation,” Msoni lamented.
“We consistently and persistently told them you cannot allow the exportation of maize; it would be reckless because the ultimate victims are the ordinary citizens who have to pay twice or three times as much for a bag of mealie meal. We did say that it will be most unfortunate for this country to start looking for money to go and re-import maize from outside; we told them; we warned them! We have an opportunity, as a country in 2021, to change leadership and if Zambians are interested in changing or improving their welfare, I think there is no substitute to regime change.”
He added that Zambians needed a leader that would see beyond political ambitions and serve citizens diligently.
“His (President Edgar Lungu) government declared austerity measures; they say look, ‘government needs to implement austerity measures’, but he is doing quite opposite if he himself should not be subjected to austerity measures. But how is it going to work because the Presidency is the biggest institution that has been guzzling money and it has suffocated all the other critical service delivery Ministries that deliver social services to our people that deliver deliverables. All the savings that have been made, he is now using that money spending recklessly on international travels that will not yield any immediate impact on benefits into our country, yet this country is now tilting on the edge of a crippling economic recession. We have a budget overrun, a request has already been made for additional funding a mini-budget (Supplementary Budget) so all these require a leader with focus, a leader who sees beyond his personal ambitions. Mr Lungu has been campaigning since 2015 non-stop! Look at these campaigns that he is using under the guise of inspecting projects, he is campaigning!” Msoni added.
And Msoni said President Lungu should take the hunger situation serious because it bordered on national food security.
“So, nobody is being fooled here. We think that Mr Lungu is the biggest problem in our midst because he never listens; he never takes advice; he never expects to be counselled and he has no feeling for the ordinary men and women who are suffering. Mr Lungu is clearly the biggest problem that we have. We think that his ascendance to power by accident speaks to his current behaviour that he can’t respect the needs of our people. He can’t accept that hunger has hit the majority of our people and that he must approach this question of starvation seriously; he is not moved by human decency. All this is borne out of the clear negligence by this government to take responsibility and act responsible merely to be on the defense that we are sending maize, but when you look at the extent of the drought-hit areas and the massive starvation of our people in those areas then you will realize that we have a government of jokers, we have group of characters that never again should be allowed to be near government in the near future,” said Msoni.
“So, the reluctance by this government to declare a national disaster in drought-hit areas is because they recognize that if they declared a national disaster, it means that they have to provide the maize on a grand scale, obviously, they will be expected that they should be in the forefront probably even before even international efforts is marshalled for the victims of drought.”
About Ulande Nkomesha
Ulande is a reporter with an experience in radio broadcasting. He loves following current affairs and interacting with politicians.
Email: ulande [at] diggers [dot] news
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