President Michael Sata fears that the continued increase of food commodity prices would spark national-wide riots against his government.
Speaking today at a State House when he swore in Julius Shawa as new permanent secretary at the minister of Communication and Transport, President Sata said food riots chased first Republican president Kenneth Kaunda and he did not want to see the situation repeated during his reign.
“I will be meeting with the millers from here. We can not continue to buy a bag of maize at K60, 000 and how can the millers sale at K55, 00 a 50kg bag? The people will rise against us. If you remember the food riots chased Kaunda from government and I don’t want to see food riots in this country,” he said.
Sata said government leaders need to listen to the cries of the people who put them in authority.
“People out there don’t have food, you the ministers are here in Lusaka enjoying air conditioning in your offices with government vehicles, you have forgotten about the people who voted for you,” said.
And President Sata said it was unfortunate that the country did not have a national airline.
“Mr. Shawa, I have appointed you PS. You are coming to this ministry… How can you have a country with no transport. In the old day we used to travel from Mpika with UBZ buses, even though we used to spend a night in Kapiri. But today, the minibuses are a laughing-stoke.
You do not even have an airline. You are richer than most of the countries around you but you do not have an airline. Even the railway system is dead… You have to work very hard,” he said.
After the swearing-in ceremony, President Sata went to hold a private meeting with millers.