Zambia should draw lessons from Zim situation
By Staff Reporter
GENERAL Malimba Masheke says Zambia should draw lessons from Zimbabwe situation.
Following an announcement of perplexingly high fuel prices by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on January 12, there have been widespread protests in the southern African country, especially in the capital, Harare and the southern city of Bulawayo.
The fuel price hike saw a litre of petrol going to US$3.31 from US$1.24 and a litre of diesel rose to US $3.11 from US$1.36.
At those prices, Zimbabwe has the most expensive gasoline in the world per litre followed by Hong Kong at US$2.06.
President Mnangagwa claimed that the price hikes were necessary to offset shortages of fuel caused by an increase in its use and “rampant” illegal trading.
Amid the onslaught, the Zimbabwean government has blocked social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
Commenting on the situation in Zimbabwe, Gen Masheke, a senior citizen and onetime Zambia’s Prime Minister, urged governments not to shift economic hardships to already financially stressed ordinary people.
“Whatever it is, they ought to agree on a modus operandi in terms of what will make people understand and share the economic difficulties. The issue is that we should not shift the harshness of the economy to ordinary people who are already in difficulties,” Gen Masheke said.
“The government must share that economic difficult with the people. It is a very difficult situation where Zimbabwe has found itself. But what is happening in Zimbabwe must be controlled because people have understood the difficulties of harsh regimes.”
He noted that from the time Zimbabweans “came out of that harsh regime” in November 2017, they were trying to see “whether the alternative that has come will help.”
“So, even ourselves have to make sure that we learn as a country what extremely challenging economic problems can cause. It becomes that bad! People must always be looked after well, in terms of the economy being fair. Mind you, human beings need to eat, work, move and earn proper incomes. All these things can only happen when the economy is okay. Fuel [prices] should be down. But at the moment, I believe the Chinese are holding….” Gen Masheke explained.
On the use of excessive force by armed officers to quell protests in Zimbabwe, Gen Masheke pointed out that he believed that Zimbabweans themselves need to learn that there’s change of government which they considered harsh.
“They ought to understand each other now; they should not use too much force. They should consider their people [because] if they kill everybody, who will they rule? I’m very sympathetic with the situation in Zimbabwe,” said Gen Masheke.