Thursday, February 21, 2008

LETTERS - Windfall Tax, Brain Drain

Mining tax proposals
By Simon Mulenga, Durban
Thursday February 21, 2008 [03:00]

I wish to comment on the new mining taxes proposed by the government and being opposed by mining companies. I feel it is greedy for the companies to refuse to share the profits coming from our copper.

I feel these companies should realise that a better economy for Zambia is a better means of securing their investments in this country. Poverty is a danger to security and not even those companies will feel safe to carry on doing business if there is civil strife in this country.

However, I am not confident that if these companies agree to abide by the new tax regime, the goverment will use the money well.

We have a history here of being made to pay huge taxes without knowing where our money goes. Driving along Dedani Kimathi Road makes you wonder where the fuel levy goes. If one looks at the current electricity crisis one realises that even when Zesco was doing very well by continuously hiking tariffs, the money made was not re-invested.

Everyday, second-hand Japanese vehicles are brought into this country and owners pay huge taxes at the borders and yet nothing is being done to increase the number of roads to absorb the increasing number of vehicles.

The city and municipal councils demand and get rates and send bailiffs to those that default and yet a look at all cities and towns shows uncollected gabbage, no street lights, dirty streets and uncut grass everywhere.

Driving along Great East Road and over the flyover, one is greeted with a big billboard asking us to be responsible and pay our taxes.

If I had any money left after paying the taxes I would put up my own billboard that would read "Be resposible, show us what you do with our tax money".

I have very little faith that government will behave in any different manner once the mines start paying up. And I would rather have a stranger steal from me than someone I voted to become a leader.

Conditions of service
By John Milimo
Thursday February 21, 2008 [03:00]

Development is the song of every political leader in this nation. I don’t know why they fail to realise that development is impossible if they themselves are selfish. Development is at a slow pace in our nation because some politicians are selfish. They only want to further their own interests and not those of the nation.

That is why many doctors, nurses, teachers and other intellectuals leave the country to seek greener pastures. My question is who will bring development in this nation if more educated people leave the country to places where there are good conditions of service?

The challenge for this present government is therefore to provide better conditions of service to the people so that they do not flee to other countries.

The need to improve conditions of service should not only come when people go on strike, but should be an ongoing process until the government gives to each person what is due to them.

Our nation has the potential of becoming one of Africa's most developed countries, but the only problem is that our political leaders are too individualistic. They are paid huge amounts of money which can be put to good use. Does it mean that their work is more important than that of others?

We should therefore promote dignity of labour because it will challenge us to respect different types of work. This will inspire every human being to work for the betterment of the nation.

Dignity of labour will also prompt all of us to work for the nation with enthusiasm and commitment and contribute towards economic growth.

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