Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chief Sinazongwe demands royalties from investors

Chief Sinazongwe demands royalties from investors
By Tovin Ngombe in Sinazongwe
Tuesday March 27, 2007 [02:00]

Chief Sinazongwe of the Tonga people has said investors exploiting natural resources in his chiefdom will have to start paying royalties to ease the high poverty levels in the district. At the launch of the Maliko Community Development Trust at his palace, chief Sinazongwe said he could not continue begging from investors.

"I have been a stupid chief without having a traditional constitution. From now, no investor will get free land and they will be paying royalties either monthly or yearly. All business of any kind will have to pay royalties," he said. He said he was not proud to be chief with the poor infrastructure in the district which had not been developed for the past 48 years. Chief Sinazongwe said his chiefdom had no hospital, high school, good roads, and no good government infrastructure or electricity in the villages. He said the only infrastructure the district had was the Boma office and the Fisheries Training Centre.

Chief Sinazongwe said out of the 1,500 people in his chiefdom, he was the only one who had electricity. "I cannot be happy, I have no power in my villages. I cannot go to Kafwambila because the road is impassable. I cannot cross the Lake Kariba to visit my brothers because I have no means," chief Sinazongwe said.

He said Maliko Community Development Trust would be in charge of collecting royalties on behalf of his chiefdom. Chief Sinazongwe said he would ensure that money realised from the royalties would be used for the intended purposes. He said the district should not continue to wallow in poverty when there were many investors reaping natural resources without paying back to the owners of the land.

"Why should we be suffering? Don't we have natural resources in the chiefdom? Even in villages you will be paying royalties, because you brew Kachasu, a local beer that is destructive to our people so two per cent of that should be for royalties," he said. Chief Sinazongwe said the trust, which was started in 2004, was now registered under the Registrar of Societies.

And Kapenta Fishing Association chairperson Johann Jordann said there was need to start paying royalties for the wellbeing of the district. Jordann, who is also the proprietor of Zongwe Farming Enterprise, urged the Trust to avoid overcharging them as this would hinder future development in the district.

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5 Comments:

At 4:41 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Actually not a bad idea. Chiefs could function as mayors, attracting businesses to their areas, and collecting taxes from them. I just read that and something just struck me, like electricity. Maybe it are the chiefs who are the way out, because they seem to be the only ones concerned with local development. The "Maliko Community Development Trust" sounds like a great idea, as long as it is manged with enough checks and balances and the chief keeps a tight reign over the finances.

 
At 11:44 PM , Blogger Cho said...

Glad you are now seeing the point I was making on chiefs at http://zambian-economist.blogspot.com/2007/03/insights-from-chief-puta.html We need not create new structures when we already have traditional structures in place.

What the chief is doing is taking initiative towards the model I articulated in our exchanges on the local level.

 
At 5:02 AM , Blogger MrK said...

I think involving chiefs could be very good indeed. :)

If they attract companies to their chiefdoms, and by law received, say 10% or 20% of the profits or 3% or so of turnover, that could be one way of distributing wealth.

I still think education would be a problem. The way to overcome that is to have them send their eldest son or heir to business school. If chiefs were backed with first rate, *loyal* economic and legal advisors, they could be rejuvenating the economy one chiefdom at a time.

That would look good.

The thing to avoid would be creating future feudal wars between people with money. Also, there would have to be strict prohibition against breaking away from the state. It would have to be written down in the constitution with penalties spelled out.

I think the attraction of chiefs is that they have an innate obligation to their own people.

But they would need a lot honest and sound support. Unlocking Africa's wealth while building and perpetuating wealth is where fortunes are going to be made.

 
At 3:08 PM , Blogger Cho said...

the problem in Zambia is that our scholars and economists are not developing policies in line with our culture...they are lazy.....they rather borrow systems from the IMF and World Bank than think about what works in a Zambian context...

Personally, I am "searcher". I want to think of Zambian consistent policies that would make a difference. Economics should just be a broad framework that should be adapted and modified to make it consistent with local circumstances.

What we need to do is teach people our history and a better appreaciation of our culture. People do not realise that the reason why Chiefs did not play an important role after independence was NOT because it was economically necessary!!! It was because UNIP had to consolidate power and was afraid that Chiefs which did not agree with them like Kazembe would destabilise society. Our society has moved on since then, and we must now ask ourselves whether the current organisational structures are inefficient and opposed to our way of life.

I just don't understand our intellectual leaders at UNZA and other places. They should be doing more to challenge Government thinking!!

 
At 4:55 PM , Blogger MrK said...

" People do not realise that the reason why Chiefs did not play an important role after independence was NOT because it was economically necessary!!! It was because UNIP had to consolidate power and was afraid that Chiefs which did not agree with them like Kazembe would destabilise society. "

I think KK was seriously shocked by the Lumpa incident that happened just before independence.

I don't know if you are familiar with the issue, but here is a reasonable article.

http://www.shikanda.net/african_religion/lumpa1.htm

I think this incident has a major explanatory role in not only the fear of decentralization, but also the active increase in centralisation, the end of multi-party democracy, etc.

Back on chiefs again, I think their role could be more important in collecting and dispensing wealth, than in government. (Although once they have enough money, they will inevitable want to play an important role in politics. Could Zambia survive a President Mpezeni? :) They would have to be thoroughly grounded in the rules of the modern democratic state.) In fact I think the specificity of their loyalty, should exclude them from national politics, while in office as chiefs.

There should be basic human rights that all chiefs should adhere to, like a national bill of rights, so that all Zambian's individual human and civil rights were respected, no matter where they were in the country.


" I just don't understand our intellectual leaders at UNZA and other places. They should be doing more to challenge Government thinking!! "

Well how about a think tank? They could also collect data, do marketing research, political polls, for extra income streams.

 

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