FORMER finance minister Ng’andu Magande says even at the time when people told him there was no food in the house, he had a car.
Meanwhile, Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo says President Edgar Lungu has exposed his lack of understanding of the economy.
On Wednesday, President Lungu launched the Munali flyover bridge where he said construction of overpasses was necessitated by the increase in the number of cars which indicated that there was money in the economy and that people were living well.
But commenting on this in an interview, Magande said it would have been interesting to hear what the people who attended the launch of the flyover bridge had to say about President Lungu’s remarks.
“I saw a thousand people at the function, so after the President said that, why didn’t you just run to one of the people who were there and say ‘what do you say about what the President has said?’ Those are the people who he was representing to say the people are doing well. In fact, if there was a parking lot, you should have gone to the parking lot to say that ‘because you bought a car, you are living well’. The people who should be answering what is happening are the people who have this cars because the President said by them buying that, they are rich, their economy is doing well. The economy is not theory, it is the lives of people. Go in the compounds, go in Kamwala, you go to the super markets and ask Shoprite to say ‘what is happening instead of you having 12 tills, you only have two people?’. Me, I bought my first car in the 60s, so perhaps my standard of good living was when I defined it at that time by a car. But now I don’t determine my standard of living by car, because I have [had] so many cars at so many times. Even when people said there is no food, I had a car,” Magande said.
And Magande challenged Yaluma to explain what PF would do differently if given another chance.
“The President said other people are saying this, who are those other people who are saying the other things? Yaluma statements, those are the statements you should pick, he is a policy maker in a government now who says, we want to continue so that we can sort out your suffering. Ask him to say ‘Mr Minister when did Zambians start suffering?’. The Minister himself was telling people we want you to vote for us, so that we can start solving the suffering of the Zambian people, ask him when did this high cost of living start? And why? And what are you going to do now that you haven’t done in the past one year?” asked Magande.
Meanwhile, also commenting on President Lungu’s remarks, Nkombo said it was unfortunate that the Head of State lacked an understanding of the current economic status.
“I think the fairest way to treat this matter of the President saying what is that he doesn’t understand. That is the tragedy of getting a President who doesn’t understand the economy. So he [has] basically exposed himself to the lack of understanding of the economy. How can anyone say that the economy is doing fine simply because there are $500 worth cars on the streets? How many of these are cars compared to the entire [population of the] country driving those cars? Has he gone to Misisi or Kuku compound where he popularly comes from, he doesn’t go there anymore?” asked Nkombo.