By NCHIMUNYA MIYOBA
Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe says the negative publicity of the country is hindering development that the country is poised for.
Mr Nundwe said the over dependency on foreigners to export Zambia’s natural resources on behalf of the local people will not help the country to come out the economic mess the country is in.
Speaking when he officiated at the launch of the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) Copperbelt chapter organized the EAZ, Mr Nundwe said time has come for Zambians to wake up and protect their natural resource for the benefit of all.
Mr Nundwe said the launch of the EAZ Copperbelt chapter will give a voice to the people in claiming their share to the national cake.
He said the province is rich and it requires people who are level headed in the sector to manage the natural resources hence there is need to have unity to actualize the vision.
He said government will not allow any natural resource to cross the borders illegally as it attaches a lot of importance to the sector adding that if this not done the country will be drained of its natural resource.
‘’There is a lot of insanity at the Kasumbalesa border. It time for people to wake up and protect every national resource. I am part government but it is important to be original and protect the national resource,’ ’he said
Mr Nundwe reaffirmed the need to diversify the economy and move away from copper dependency that the province is known for.
And EAZ President Lubinda habazooka said there is need to rally behind government to ensure that the people affected the layoffs in the mining sector get the right resources from the industry.
Dr Habazooka said unions like Mine workers Union of Zambia need support from all Zambians to ensure that those affected the layoffs are recalled in the mining sector adding that if this done it will be easy to find solutions to the many challenges that the country is facing.
Dr Habazooka added that it’s unfortunate that Zambians have become divided both politically and trade making it difficult for the people to work as one.
Speaking at the same event Citizens for a Better Environment Director for Social and Environment Affairs Dr Mweene Mwiinga during her presentation recommended that government need to give clarity on development agreement versus the mining Act of 2015.
Dr Mwiinga added that there also need to increase benefit sharing to host communities adding that this could only be achieved re-enacting section 136 of the mines Act of 2008 which provided for the establishment of mineral royalty act sharing mechanism.
Dr Mwiinga emphasized that government can only handle the issue of taxes in the mining sector effectively if they give an update to the nation on the outcome of aberrations or court process on the development agreement versus the mine Acts.