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Special Assistant to the President for Projects, Implementation and Monitoring Andrew Chellah has told off all foreign contractors that Government is not asking for the mandated 20 per cent but is demanding for it.

Speaking in Kitwe when he met both local and foreign contractors, Mr Chellah said that 20 per cent is non-negotiable and Government expects every foreign contractor to comply.

“This 20 per cent prescribed for local contractors is non-negotiable. We are not asking or pleading for it but we are demanding for it to be given to Zambian contractors so that they can have capacity in future to embark on mega projects.

“We want to develop but we will not do so at the expense of our locals who need also to create employment for our people. The 20 per cent is a Law and there should be no excuse of failing to give it to Zambian contractors,” he said.

He said the size and the sophistication of the project shouldn’t matter but Zambians must be given jobs, even just to do excavation works until it meets up the 20 per cent.

Mr Chellah said some foreign firms tend to resist in giving out the 20 per cent saying Zambian working culture is bad but he said Government will not negotiable any further on the 20 per cent aimed at growing Zambian Small and Medium Enterprises.