FORMER finance minister Ng’andu Magande says having lived for many years, he can attest to the fact that the country has seen worse days.
In an interview, Magande said it was illogical to blame UPND for the recent hike in fuel prices, arguing that it was a result of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“You should concentrate on talking to the young people. Some of us who are old, who have been around for 70 years now, will tell you that you haven’t seen the worst. Some of us went into situations that you had to even hide your $1 because that is all you had. The problem is that you are not interested in history, you just want to talk about today, but today cannot be there without yesterday. So people must compare yesterday and today and see whether what happened yesterday can be used to sort out today. Certain things that happened yesterday were negatives, they don’t add to today, but some things are lessons. When the term pamela (small packaged mealie meal) came, I have never even seen it in any of your writings. Pamela, you think it is a beautiful girl but pamela was a pack of mealie meal which was sold on the streets during one of the terms, because we had no food,” said Magande.
“Why do you think the price of fuel has increased? Was there war under PF? Why don’t you explain to the people to say that ‘now there is a war which has broken out, not caused by UPND, not caused by PF, not caused by NAREP’. That is where we get our oil. And the production of oil from those people who export to us has gone down because they are fighting. When there is a war somewhere and the people who are supposed to give you commodities stop producing enough, you expect to raise a few items and those few items will still be bought by the same Kwacha and therefore will become more expensive. This war which started about four or five months ago, these two countries are the largest exporters of fuel, so they are not exporting now. This is why fuel has become short in the world and when goods become short the prices are affected.”