One of president Michael Sata’s many deputy ministers loitering around the country explaining the removal of subsidies ended-up straying into Malawi where she took the subsidies gospel message and claimed no Zambian pupil will ever learn in grass thatched structures in rural areas once funds saved from the removal of subsidies are put to use.
Unaware that the PF government is facing a huge budget overrun and has no money, Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Jean Kapata, lied that over 2,000 health centers are to be constructed countrywide between this year and 2016 with the support of the Indian government and the facilities will help to address the challenges faced in the health sector.
Ms. Kapata made the remarks when she found herself talking to a Zambian family of Mr. Henry Ngilazi and wife Chansa Kabwela based in Malawi but working at the Zambia High Commission.
Mr. Ngilazi is the Charge D’ Affairẽs in Lilongwe, Malawi, while the wife Chansa Kabwela who scribbled the statement is the First Secretary for Press in the same building in Malawi,.
With a lot of gallivanting allowances in her pocket, Kapata wasted no time in preaching to the already converted couple that the PF government’s decision to remove subsidies was long overdue as they have not helped to lift the majority of Zambians out of poverty, especially those in rural areas.
She said it was saddening that 49 years after independence Zambia still had places where children were learning in grass thatched schools with qualified teachers and nurses living in mud houses.
Ms. Kapata said the K3 trillion which the country has been spending on maize and fuel subsidies annually will go a long way in ensuring holistic development, thus correcting the disparities that exist between urban and rural areas.
Her lies continued: “why should we continue with subsidies when the people in the rural areas do not even benefit from them? They don’t have vehicles, they grind their own mealie from the maize they grow. They are not affected in any way. What government is doing now is to save the money that was put on subsidies.
“We were losing K3 trillion per year, K300 million per month in terms of subsidizing fuel and mealie meal. We are saying let us take this money into infrastructure in the rural areas, let us open up the roads, let us also electrify the rural areas. In the long run even urbanization will be a thing of the past because people will be willing to go back to the village,” Ms. Kapata lied as the couple listened.
She explained that the government had embarked on the Link Zambia 8000 Project which is expected to connect all the country’s provinces and subsequently open investment opportunities and ease travel for the people.
“Even the remotest area, there will be clinics thus helping to reduce maternal mortality. We have a high mortality rate among mothers. Mothers die because clinics are so far away from their villages. Sometimes when they get to the clinic there are no qualified personnel. All these are things we are trying to address because once these clinics are built they will come with everything,” Ms. Kapata continued cheating.
But she honest to admit that there is a heated debate in Zambia for and against subsidies but assured the government’s sincerity in ensuring national development for the benefit of the current and future generations.
Earlier before her preaching, Mr. Ngilazi said the relations between Zambia and Malawi were good and the Mission remained committed to working for the betterment of Zambia.