Friday, March 07, 2008

LETTERS - Windfall tax

Mining companies' arrogance
By Concerned citizen
Friday March 07, 2008 [03:00]

I am simply surprised at the arrogance of the mining companies. I reckon it is the inability of the government to implement the law.

Sovereignty is basically the freedom to create laws and collect taxes on behalf of the people. In this case, the Zambian goernment is not breaking any mining agreement but making a new law which should be followed by any miner, small or large.

Those agreements were under a different tax regime, the fact that the government went to Parliament when introducing the changes means that it is new law and he who does not like it should quit Zambia.

Zambia is a sovereign state because it has Parliament to make laws. If those companies do not pay the new tax, then they cannot and should not be in Zambia.

Limos and poverty
By Dr Henry I. Kasongo
Friday March 07, 2008 [03:00]

The Sunday Post of March 2, 2008 on page 6 displayed, under the title 'Levy's visit to Gambia in pictures', pictures of His Excellencys sojourn in Gambia.

I wish to thank Ntembe Mwanawasa for this thoughtful initiative. She would have kept the pictures for herself if she wanted, but she decided to share them with the public.

Only one thing attracted my attention on all the pictures. Is it the president, the first ladies or the crowd? No. My attention went to the Hummer limousine. What an extravagancy in a continent where the majority are poor and jobless!

It is well known that the majority of African families live on less that 1 US dollar per day; and women are the most affected by poverty as they are the ones who fetch food for their families, look after orphans and nurse their sick husbands. Many families in Africa have no access to quality health care, clean water and education.

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high; and the number of orphans is increasing on a daily basis.

With this background of poverty in mind, one wonders why some African leaders are so wasteful, or should I say heartless.
Is it necessary to have such a mammoth vehicle for one person (the president of Gambia) and his family and waste tax-payers’ money on the maintenance of such an expensive motorcar while the majority of the Gambian people are suffering and living in a spiral of unemployment?

Things will only be fine in Africa when political leaders behave as responsible managers of their countries’ few resources and when they give more priority to the welfare of their citizens than to entertain their egoistic penchants.

'Chiluba sold us to Levy'
By Concerned Citizen
Friday March 07, 2008 [03:00]

Allow me to air my views on the stance that Sata has taken when he argues that Chiluba sold us to Levy.

Which is better between being sold to your local or to the foreigners? It is very fearful that this man whom so many Zambians trust will turn the clock anti-clockwise.

I hope Sata has learnt from his past experience because in many ways, while he worked with Chiluba, he too contributed to the selling of many Zambians together with their properties, either by being active or passively involved.

How can Sata prove that he might not do the same to us? I have come to realise that politicians in Zambia are just using voters for their selfish interests.

Sata is today saying that Chiluba sold us to Levy. But he too, during the Chiluba era, sold our companies to foreign investors through the privatisation process and he indeed held a very high respectable position of minister without portfolio.

Did he not participate in the selling of our property which the KK government acquired ? Can he prove that he will not sell us, together with our belongings to the Taiwanese?

Sata, give us hope and do not use us as a means to meet your ends. Advise your MPs and other officials in PF to pay attention to the promises they gave to the voters prior to the 2006 elections. MMD is now declining in popularity.

They thought upgrading the roads in Kanyama would buy them votes. It turned otherwise. So, I hope you know that words may not buy you votes. We need the implementation of policies, not just words. We are tired of being used by selfish politicians.

Today, its Chiluba. But who knows who's turn it will be tomorrow? Watch your words.

Foreign investment
By Concerned citizen
Friday March 07, 2008 [03:00]

The Minister of Labour needs to step down on moral grounds because he has clearly failed to manage the ministry.

The stories of Chinese nationals not respecting Zambian laws must come to an end. The truth of the matter is that these Chinese investors need us more than we need them. We should have a win-win relationship but it seems our government values profits more than human lives.

This is the only country in the world (maybe Iraq too) where foreigners can break the law under the veil of investment. We are tired of seeing our workers fight to earn a decent wage. Foreign investment and economic development are pointless if the ordinary people of Zambia do not enjoy the benefits.

The minister does not need to have inspectors report to him because news of this abuse is in newspapers everyday. Has Mwanawasa sold his soul to the devil that he cannot stand up for his people anymore? What has he promised the Chinese that he cannot dare stand up to them?

We should be equal partners but what I see is a master-slave relationship. The patience of Zambians has been taken for granted for too long. If this is the price we have to pay for foreign investment, then Lord help us.

Industrial unrest
By Dr Daniel Maswahu,Cambridge, UK
Thursday March 06, 2008 [03:00]

The industrial unrests that are currently proliferating with the blessings of the MMD government are a cause for serious concern.

I do not believe it is a mere coincidence nor indeed xenophobia that there are riots at mining enterprises under the management of the Chinese. There is no need to open fresh wounds and remind ourselves of the poor industrial safety conditions that Chinese mining enterprises expose their workers to.

The constitution does not provide clear guidelines on a minimum wage and it is little wonder that miners are taking the law into their own hands. These are not mere riots or the grunting of career criminals, but they represent an encroachment on, and a test of the strength of our sovereignty.

There is sufficient demand on the world metal market and Zambia can easily attract investors with a good industrial safety record.
The question therefore is, to what extent can Zambians continue being abused before the government realises their suffering?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home