The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party has condemned government for alleged misplaced priorities.
Party president, Kasonde Mwenda, said it was disheartening to witness government succumbing to the demands of the IMF while disregarding the well-being and livelihoods of its citizens.
Kasonde in a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday recalled what he said were alarming statements made by the Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, on December 6, 2022.
He claimed Musokotwane revealed that part of Zambia’s IMF programme included the removal of subsidies on energy and agriculture.
“Since then, the government has embarked on a process that has resulted in the removal of the Farmers Input Support Program (FISP), effectively jeopardizing the food security of our nation,” Kasonde said.
He said Agriculture, Minister Reuben Mtolo, further on July 28, 2023, announced the government’s plan to phase out the FISP and replace it with affordable loans for farmers.
“While the government claims this decision will eliminate ghost beneficiaries, we find it lamentable that their solution to this issue is to completely phase out a program that provides vital support to our farmers,” Kasonde said.
He said it was crucial to acknowledge that while subsidies can bring positive impacts, they can also have detrimental consequences if not properly managed.
Kasonde said the incompetence and mismanagement displayed by government in handling these subsidies had led to a misallocation of resources, inefficiency, and distortions in the market.
“This has further exacerbated the challenges faced by the farmers and jeopardizing the country’s food security,” he said.
Kasonde said this was a clear betrayal of the trust and loyalty bestowed upon the United Party for National Development (UPND) government by Zambian citizens.
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