By Caleb Witola Silumbwe
ZAMBIAN economic policy is at war. This war is not fought with guns or any form of nuclear weapon. Foreigners just employs cheap labour, they force our citizens to work without or with poor proactive safety equipment and abnormal man-hour, with poor wages, with unbearable conditions of service.
Due to many challenges, our people are left with no option, but to swallow a bitter peal in order to meet the daily economic needs and wants. They destroy our environment by disposing hazardous chemical into our environment. Making it danger for the future generations.
I understand that an investor is a person who come into an area and leaves it better than it was before. In other terms, an investor is an individual that puts money into an entity such as a business for a financial return.
The main goal of any investor is to minimize risk and maximize return. It is in contrast with a speculator who is willing to invest in a risky asset with the hopes of getting a higher profit.
It is unfortunate that the abuse of our citizens and by the so-called investors cannot be handled by our courts, due to fact that these people have binding contracts with our government. Our citizen’s social protection is raped.
I submit to you that, the current policy on foreign investment in Zambia must be revised in order to suit the current economic demand, to mitigate high rates of unemployment, social-economic challenges, a situation, which will bar or limit the type of investment a foreigner can own in Zambia.
No way, an investor can come into Zambia and open up a barbershop, Katemba? What will a poor Zambian youth will do for living amidst high unemployment rates? Foreigners are buying land and land ownership is offered, making it difficult for our own to have land and ownership.
It is also unfortunate to realize that their huge sums of money is not in our local banks in Zambia or Africa, but their revenues is saved in their foreign accounts.
God blessed Africa and Zambia in particular with a wide range of mineral deposits. May I highlight, that our Country is an attractive place for investment due to favourable geology, its long period of mining, its political stability, and a relatively favorable economic environment.
Zambia is also safe and secure since the country’s independence in 1964 there has never been a war.
There are also concerns about social and environmental issues surrounding the mining sector. Which I feel that, once the Government, Stakeholders and other regulation authority, once come up with a deliberate policy to accommodate these concern and such regulations may be a good starting point, but regulatory and monitoring agencies must be enhanced to strengthen more meaningful consultation among stakeholders on issues affecting the sector.
However, these positive aspects are overshadowed by a lack of transparency and accountability regarding revenue management, unfavorable mining investment policy’s to fully benefit every Zambia, lack of consistency surrounding fiscal and monetary policy, and lack of support for diversifying the economy and leveraging of infrastructure development for mining processing. Local trade, which may benefit the general population by providing employment. Thereby contributing to social and economic sustainable development. Exporting raw materials, means exporting jobs cheaply.
I submit to you that, there is needy to stick to the rules of the game in the long-term to foster a stable investment environment, while simultaneously diversifying our economy, to Agriculture, research, Technology, Energy and education so we are not overly dependent on mining.
Our governments should fully integrate the mineral sector into national development plans which we have in place, but we are lacking the MINING DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
By Caleb Witola Silumbwe
Disclaimer: this view does not in any way represent the tabloid’s take but exclusively represent the position of the author on this subject. We are simply a mouthpiece for divergent views.