United Party for National Development UPND President Hakainde HIchilema has called for a reduction in the price of fuel. In a statement released to the media, the UPND leader said that when PF took over in 2011, crude oil was over US$120 per barrel and now that the price is $36 per barrel, it therefore made sense to reduce the price of fuel to about K4 per litre
Below is the full statement
We have repeatedly been urging our colleagues in the PF Government to take advantage of the sharp fall in world oil prices by reducing the fuel pump prices.
When PF took over in 2011, crude oil was over US$120 per barrel yet at that time, they even reduced fuel to the current prices. It therefore makes sense that at the current world prices of around US $36 per barrel representing a quarter of what they used to be, it therefore goes without saying that fuel must now be around 4 kwacha a liter in Zambia.
But knowing their corrupt ways and that they are broke and have messed up the country, we will not be surprised to hear an increase instead of reduction in fuel prices.
In a troubled economic situation like ours a reduction in fuel prices will act as a stimulus for economic activities in several sectors and could help save jobs and businesses, especially with the ongoing and extensive electricity loadshedding in the country.
A reduction in fuel prices will also help in reducing the cost of doing business and will assist in reducing the current high cost of living in the country.
This being a farming season, any reduction will also help our farmers in using their mechanised farming equipment and boost agriculture production which we want to be the key driver under our economic diversification programme.
Already the PF Government has hiked electricity tariffs by 300% in some cases. This has made the tariffs very high unmanageable levels despite the massive electricity loadshedding.
Many businesses are now surviving on fuel propelled generators and the fuel reduction would offer them much needed relief. Our colleagues in the PF are always quick at blaming economic issues on global trends and we now urge them to take advantage of the falling fuel prices on the global market.
Many countries in the world, and even in the region, have been reducing fuel prices for their citizens as a measure to trigger economic growth and reduce the cost of living.