GOVERNMENT was forced to over borrow because it inherited a bad economy in terms of infrastructure, says Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe.

And Sikazwe says people should appreciate President Edgar Lungu while he is still alive because he means well and he has helped a lot of people unlike others who are rich but do nothing for the community.

Sikazwe said this in Mpongwe when he handed over a bus on behalf of President Edgar Lungu to Mpongwe Boarding School, Wednesday.

“It was that song that the pupils sang. After the meeting I remained to listen to the song. That same song is what has produced the bus…What touched the President most was that if these children can appreciate what the government is doing, it means they mean well. And why is it that children are appreciating when some of their parents are still doubting? He was touched by the fact that the appreciation was coming from the children and I want to ask you to keep it up. What is important in life is to tell the truth and also, I want we should learn to appreciate people when they are still alive. I want to stand here as a very proud member of the PF, proud member of the leadership of His Excellency. The man means well. It is true, some people are crying that they have over borrowed, do you know the reason? It was the pressure that we had as the government to try and change things. We inherited a very bad economy in terms of the infrastructure,” Sikazwe said.

“If we were to maintain the same status quo of having the fears of borrowing, today, this country would have been a mess. But it takes a parent to make a decision. That’s why people go and borrow, because you know you have to sustain your family, isn’t it. If you know you can’t manage, when people are talking about borrowing, sometimes it’s shameful. I have kept on telling people, a poor parent is one that you go and borrow and misuse but speaking for this government, when we say we are borrowing to do the Kazungula bridge which people have failed to do for years, today, the Kazungula bridge is being done. When we say we are borrowing to do the lower Kafue power hydro within the month, it’ll be commissioned. It is a project that was initiated by our colleagues but people were afraid of making decisions. But if we borrow, a leader says we will borrow to solve this problem, and you borrow. A parent says I want to get a loan to do the house, and they build the house, where is the problem?”

He said the complaints would only be genuine if government diverted funds meant for development projects.

“The worst leader or parent is one that goes to borrow and tells the children that you have to sacrifice because we have borrowed to do the house but tomorrow, they don’t see the house, that’s the worst leader. But if a leader is going to say let us borrow to resolve this issue and it is resolved, I don’t know what we expect from a leader,” he said.

And Sikazwe urged people to appreciate President Lungu while he was still alive.

“Let Zambians appreciate, President Edgar Lungu meant well…There are some people who are stingy but they are rich. Yes you are rich but what are you contributing for the people? That bus, it is not the government which has bought that bus, the President bought that bus from his little resources for the sake of the people. That’s why I am saying the President means well. I am part of the presidency and I know the kind of help that he has been giving to the people, to different institutions and different churches,” said Sikazwe.

Earlier, Copperbelt Minster Japhen Mwakalombe said the donation of the bus indicated that President Lungu had a passion for the pupils at the school.