WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS SURRENDERED ZAMBIA’S ECONOMIC SOVEREIGNTY TO FOREIGNERS
…tilibe vilivonse vamene tili navo because everything is being taken out, bemoans MOURINHO
Lusaka, Thursday, November 30, 2023 (Smart Eagles)
We have the money but we have a government that has surrendered Zambia’s economic sovereignty to foreigners, Socialist Party (SP) Deputy General Secretary Antonio Mourinho Mwanza has alleged.
Mr Mwanza said today when he featured on UNZA radio that there is need for government to reintroduce subsidies on fuel, a commodity among the major drivers of the economy.
He explained how the cost of fuel is directly tied to the cost of living in the country.
“Government says they don’t have the money for direct subsidies. For now we can say okay, but reintroduce the indirect subsidies. We are asking the government to waiver off VAT and Exercise taxes on fuel products. VAT is 16% exercise taxes account for about 8%. Immediately the government waives off VAT and exercise taxes, the fuel prices will go down immediately by not less than 24%. That will cushion our people because uja wa Yango, uja wa Taxi, uja wa bus, cashing ba Godwin afuniko panga,” he said.
“Mwine wa bus sazavinvela kuti no fuel inadula. Eve afuna che cashing yake ibwele. Mwine wa taxi afuna cashing yake ibwele. Its not only that. Us, ise be tiyuzing’a ma bus, tivutikilamo ndise because pamene tenzo lipila K10 tilipila K20. Pamene tenzo lipila K12 tilipila K24. Pamene tenzolipila K100 tilipila K250. Bag ya fataleza tenzo lipila ise K20 kuipeleka from Katete to Msolo, tilipila K50 per bag. We are being inconvenienced, the cost of living is going up because everything is going up as a result of the high fuel prices.”
Mourinho further explained that, that is the direct subsidy where government can pay directly to reduce the cost of fuel.
“No government will tell you we don’t have the money to do it and we are reminding them. Scrap off the tax holidays and other tax incentives you’ve given the mines. Close the tax loopholes that the mines are using and you will be able to raise not less than US$3.8 billion, annually from the mining sector alone. That is the money that now you need to use to subsidise fuel, that is the money you need to use to subsidise electricity, that is the money you need to use to subsidise water,” he said.
“And we have nothing here, palibe, tilibe vilivonse vamene tili navo because everything is being taken out. So we are demanding that government must first reintroduce SI that has been scrapped off or simply waive off VAT and exercise taxes on fuel and the fuel prices will go down automatically by not less than 24%.”
He implored government to close the loopholes which the mining companies are using so that the country can get more money.
Mr Mwanza called on government to “scrap off mineral royalty tax making it deductible, scrap it off, we can get the money, we will use this money to subsidise fuel. If we don’t do this ba Godwin, it doesn’t matter what you say, it doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t matter how many trips President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema takes, it doesn’t matter, apa ali pa 67, it doesn’t matter he can even take 200 trips. If he doesn’t deal with the fundamentals of the economy, kulibe vamene bazakachita pali cost of living.”