DEBT A MANAGEABLE CHALLENGE - MUTATI
GOVERNMENT has assured Zambians living in Italy that the challenge of debt the country is facing is not difficult to handle as it is being portrayed in some circles of society.
Minister of Works and Supply Felix Mutati said Government was in control of the situation and a number of measures had already been put in place that would eventually cut down on unnecessary expenditures. Mr Mutati was speaking yesterday in Rome when he graced the 54th Independence Anniversary celebrations hosted by Ambassador Dr Joseph Katema and his wife Anttonnette and attended by Zambians working and studying in that country. In a statement issued to the daily nation yesterday, Ministry of Works and Supply public relations officer, Ndubi Mvula, said Mr Mutati assured that some of the measures Government had taken were already having positive impact on the economy. Mr. Mutati said Government and President Lungu were firmly in-charge and in control of the governance system of the country. He said one of the measures Government had taken and implemented so far was that of controlling the usage of GRZ motor vehicles by making sure that compliance levels were observed by all civil servants. The exercise was paying off and money to the tune of more than 400,000 had been saved which would cushion the expenditure in the social service and infrastructure development, he said, adding that his ministry’s desire was not to collect money but to regulate the usage of public property, he said. He said so far the civil service had responded very well and that it was important for the nation to reflect on how to create solutions during challenging times. He, however, said the coming years might be challenging but that Government was determined to find lasting solutions and this was possible. He urged Zambians in Italy to use their capability to transform the base where they came from instead of investing in “pizza and pasta” but that help improve to the living standards in Zambia. He also said his mission to Italy was to call on the business community to team up with small medium enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia and not with Government because it was the SMEs that created impact in economic growth and development. “Where the challenge is in Africa is at the level of SMEs where technology and innovations should be channelled instead of just dealing with Governments through the construction of roads, dams and other huge projects,” he said. Mr Mutati said leaving out SMEs would make the continent fail to achieve its intended goal of attaining sustainable development, hence the need for Italian businesses to engage with the SMEs in Zambia.