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Written by on December 22, 2021

Political and Social Anthropologist Dr James Musonda has charged that the Patriotic Front has no moral standing to comment on the removal of subsidies on fuel and pending removal of subsidies on electricity tariffs.

Dr Musonda tells Flava Fm News that the former ruling party should not pretend to be more caring about the Zambian people now that they are in the opposition, noting that the reason they could not get the International Monetary Fund deal was because they refused to remove subsidies on electricity and fuel is completely misplaced and a total fabrication.

He points out that the main reason the former Government failed to clinch the deal was because its public image was tainted by corruption, over pricing, abuse, violence, plunder, intolerance and undemocratic practices.

He further notes that prior to the 2016 elections, the PF gave expensive electricity amidst the drought and promised to end load shedding and reduce the price of electricity but immediately after winning, the electricity tariff went up by over 200 percent and load shedding continued while the promise of fuel at K5 per litre did not come to fruition but instead rose to K17 by 2021.

The Research Expert adds that the Patriotic Front sustained the subsidies merely to get votes while they did not pay the fuel suppliers further noting that the country currently owes in excess of $14 billion in debt to external creditors courtesy of the PF leaving the party with no moral standing to comment on the removal of subsidies.

On Thursday, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) adjusted the fuel pump prices upwards, with petrol adjusted from K17.62 to K21.16 while diesel was adjusted to K20.15 from K15.59 previously.

Government’s monthly spending on subsidies are $67 million (K1.2 billion) on fuel and $40 million (K700 million) on electricity, which further translates into annual figures of around $800 million (K14 billion) on fuel and $500 million (K8.75 billion) on electricity.

By Monica Aba Baidoo

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