Govt was advised take ownership of mines, now it been politicized

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Do our politicians really know what they want for Zambia when it comes to running of the mines?

Every time the mine investors arm twisted government by threatening job cuts and declaring losses we heard many opposition leaders claim that its time Zambia took control of the mines so that Zambians can benefit from their natural resources.

But now that the government has taken over Mopani mines we are hearing some opposition leaders condemning government with claims among them that; we do not have the capacity to run the mines and that the position taken by government is just meant to be a political campaign strategy to avert job losses.

We have further heard claims from opposition that this was a very bad financial transaction which has disadvantaged Zambia.

I’m of the view that we first need to thank government for taking over Mopani just like they did with KCM.

Then instead of saying we can’t run the mines we need to sit down as a country and come up with a strategy of how we can run the mines efficiently even during periods of low copper prices.

The foreign investors we want to treaty like our saviours in the mines are human beings like us.

So if they can run the mines and we know usually they use loans from banks as capital injections then I see no reason why as a country we can fail to come up with a bankable mining investment plan for Mopani.

When we discovered Gold in Northwestern province people where against allowing foreign investors to run the Gold mine claiming we can do it on our own.

So what is different from running Mopani yourselves from running Gold mine?

If we don’t politicize doing business and put in place bankable mining investment plan and have a professional, motivated and dedicated workforce we can run the mines profitably.

The other option is if we can’t do this then we need to increase our stake to at least 49% and let the new investor hold 51% or vice versa.

Never again should we surrender mines completely to foreign investors and be at their mercy in arm twisting us, in terms of avoiding paying a fair share of taxes with threats of job cuts.

We know these international corporations are sophisticated when it comes to crafting investment contracts so it is time to dust up our selves from years of unfair business deals we have been subjected to and chat our own destiny.

Let’s remember copper is a diminishing resource and if we can’t benefit now then we can as well forget because investors are not father Christmas but come to maximise profits.
Collins Mambwe
Business Administrator and educationist

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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