I love Mr. Hichilema and I hope I shall be offered an opportunity soon to sit with him with a simple objective of helping him see where he misses it. We need to compete at the level of ideas of economic development but before then, let’s discuss patriotism.
Patriotism is fighting for your country and uplifting the constitution and its citizens at all cost, not speaking ill of the country you claim to love.
Going to the Africa Mining Indaba to speak ill of Zambia is not just misplaced but stupid. He said and I quote…
“We are excited with this particular Indaba which comes at a time when the tax regime in Zambia has been adjusted for the 9th time in 18 years. We shall take this opportunity to engage with the mining houses and have constructive dialogue on what would be a fair taxation system from their point of view and from our point of view.”
Recently when he appeared on Radio Christian Voice’s Chat Back programme, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema revealed that mining companies in Zambia have told him that they cannot wait for him to ascend to power because they see him as someone who will clean up the mess in the sector.
But the firms he is backing, have used tax avoidance and evasion schemes to a point of them getting our minerals for free. For instance, 70% of First Quantum gold production came from Zambia for the year 2018. 78.4% of First Quantum copper production came from Zambia for the year 2018.
All the copper produced and sold was most certainly used to develop Cobre Panama, while Solwezi and Kalumbila continue to look like villages 15 years after commissioning these mines.
The new tax regime, in simple language, seeks to address the dishonesty of our friends. The controversial royalty tax, for instance, now ensures that we levy tax on production (e.g. sales, revenue, tons mined) rather than profit since our friends have outsmarted us with their loss making schemes.
In the absence of honesty on the part of those we have entrusted our rare but non-renewable natural resources with, every normal thinking and patriotic Zambian must support the new tax regime that promises us a chance to get a fare share of what belongs to us.
Mpandashalo Evans Mwewa
Global Capstone Centre
For Leadership Development
WhatsApp: +260 977 430702