PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said his government will borrow without shame, because it is borrowing for investment. And President Lungu says when the PF promised lower taxes, it does not mean no taxes. He said putting up toll gates is not to overburden the road users but for sustained development.
President Lungu said this when commissioning the US$4.3 million Michael Chilufya Sata Toll Plaza along the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway on Sunday afternoon.
“We have to pay for these roads, we have to maintain these roads ourselves. We promised Zambians lower taxes… and some notorious MP, was saying Mr Sata promised lower taxes, but that does not mean no taxes,” President Lungu said.
“US$4.3 million has been spent on this project. This project which has been named after the founding father of the PF. It could not come at a great time after we put to rest our mother (Mama Chibesa Kankasa). It is our prayer that his legacy can be protected and grown. I am saying this because there are people saying that Lungu has lost Mr Sata’s vision, no Lungu this, Lungu that. If we carry on the vision of Mr Sata and someone say we have forgotten, then we say, tawaliko iwe (you were not there), you don’t know what Mr Sata stood for.”
He said the acceleration of development of the PF continued to bear the fruits.
President Lungu said the transformation agenda of the PF had given jobs to the youths of Zambia.
He said infrastructure was the catalyst for national development.
“… as people join us in the tax base, taxes will become lower….Bufi, even in the bible it is written, [that] you pay tax. It is clear in the Bible kulipila tax. When we say lower taxes does not mean no tax, bufi ubo. So when you talk of roads bringing development to the people, we mean just that. These developments can be achieved through a sustainable road tolling,” President Lungu said.
He said the toll gates were not done to overburden road users.
“It is not done to over burden the road users but to create a sustainable goal. It is a global norm of financing and maintenance of road infrastructure,” President Lungu said.
He said his government would borrow without any shame.
“If we run short of money we shall responsibly borrow to improve the lives of the country. I must make it clear that there is no country that does not borrow. When you borrow, we borrow to use and not to eat. We are not ashamed to say that. They keep saying we have borrowed too much, yes we have borrowed because we have borrowed to invest, which is the right thing,” President Lungu said.
“We have borrowed and invested than any other government from the [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda era. We have created all new districts completed with attendant infrastructure. We promised our people that we shall do this and this is what we are doing. Those who are saying no ifuntu tafileenda bwino, should tell us what they will do. I will do my best and ask God to do the rest. Let me tell you that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan and I don’t want to be an orphan. So we will move together to record success so that I have many fathers. When we borrow, we do not do so for consumption but for investment. Sustainable financing through tolling will help maintain the roads. Money collected should be accounted for.”
Earlier, Housing and Infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela said President Lungu was a performer.
“You are a performer beyond the expectations of what people expected. Sir no one has criticised your development agenda. That is why they have resorted to lies. Creating lies after lies. People, the Zambian people will not buy cheap propaganda. You have delivered to the people. The development you are bringing to the country is not only restricted to Lusaka, but all the parts of the country. I want to assure you that we won’t disappoint you. We want the Zambian people. Let me say imbwa tabalasa ifwele (you can’t hit a dead dog). Even if they make noise, our friends in the opposition are scared of you. So what has remained is to insult you,” said Chitotela