By JOHN SAKALA
UPND Chairperson for Mines Percy Chanda says handouts in whatever form cannot take people out of poverty.
Mr Chanda said the PF is giving fish to people instead of teaching them how to fish.
He has implored PF to consider equipping the youths with survival skills that will sustain them for the rest of their lives.
“PF should revamp the dead industrial base to support the mining industry in order to create jobs. Giving people pocket money is not sustainable. The hostile economic environment under PF is such that the majority of those receiving handouts will end up extremely poor. With this kind of approach the dreams of Zambia reaching a middle income country are very slim. PF is using handouts as a campaign tool.
“When empowerment is driven by a political agenda it produces very poor results. The black mountain was mismanaged because of politics. The big question is who has ultimately befitted from that black mountain? MMD tried to cheat people especially the youths with political empowerment, the same people who were so called empowered are still queuing for empowerment from PF. Meaning; people are just being used for political gains, we are not achieving anything. They say you cannot do the same thing over and over but expect different results, unless if you are not normal,” he said.
Mr Chanda has asked PF to be sincere and serious and find a lasting solution to the high unemployment and poverty levels than giving people pocket money.
He said that if PF is serious about helping the youth they should support those already in the manufacturing sector with the right equipment and tools.
“For example, Government can procure equipment and tools for those making door and window frames and many others for them to improve productivity and quality of their products. We need to properly equip such small scale industries.
“While it’s true that not all people will be employed, it’s also true that not all the people will be successful entrepreneurs. Empowerment should be designed to make people sustain their lives and contribute significantly to national development. Already PF has created a problem where everybody has become a trader. You cannot have an informal sector full of traders only, by so doing you are creating jobs where those products are manufactured. It’s like PF cannot think beyond trading. This mentality has destroyed the country,” he said.