Thursday, April 10, 2008
By Mundia Hakoola
Thursday April 10, 2008 [04:00]
I have been following the recent events in our country with keen interest. I must say that it is very unfortunate that nepotism in this country is being practiced even by higher authorities. It is indeed sad that nepotism has taken a centre stage in everything we do. A graduate looking for employment may not find a job if he /she doesn't have an influential relative to back them.
It is a well-known fact that most job adverts are there for formality and that scholarships are awarded to people with connections. It is very sad that today, if you want to get something done, a form of nepotism must be practiced.
This vice is a form of corruption and if left unchecked could destroy our country. It is no wonder we see poor service delivery in the government and some private organisations as people are not employed on merit. This vice must be discouraged in the strongest terms as it robs people of opportunities.
It is very sad that nepotism has reached such alarming levels that the local government minister acknowledged the extent of this vice.
If you happen to conduct a background check of most organisations, you will find a chain of relatives connected to the system. Let’s rise up and say no to nepotism.
Sata and mining taxes
By Joseph I. M. Chanda, Ndola
Thursday April 10, 2008 [04:00]
Kindly allow me to express my views on a matter that appeared in your newspaper of March 29, 2008 regarding Michael Sata's appeal to the government to change their policy on windfall taxes on mining companies.
I totally agree with the Patriotic Front leader's views that maintaining these taxes will only be detrimental to the Zambian employees at these mines as the effect on the companies will be passed on to them.
The cost of mining, handling, transportation and eventual export of the copper concentrate is high and to ask mining companies to pay 15 per cent is really unrealistic. It should be considered also that wherever the concentrate is exported to, refining it is also another cost.
It is in this vein that Zambian employees will suffer the brunt of this act because the mining companies will be bent on reducing or indeed spreading the cost abroad to the extent that there will be slave wages paid and poor conditions of service.
What our government needs to do is find a way of having the owners of these mining companies remit part of their profits back into Zambia, as they sell the copper to countries abroad and are paid into their foreign accounts.
The money is needed in our country so that our banks could have more to lend out and for the mining operations' location (cities and towns) to be developed as well as have many Zambian citizens participate in the building of our economy by way of supply and construction contracts.
The government’s move is also detrimental to small-scale miners who are into copper as well because the costs may be unpalatable on their operations. Therefore, the call to rethink is welcome.
Another concern is what I would call the government's double standards where some of the companies have been given a twelve-month waiver on the 15 per cent tax on export of concentrates.
It seems to me that there could be something going on that we do not know. Perhaps someone at the top has interests in those with waivers. My question would be: why was this waiver not spread to all in order to give chance to others also to build smelters and not just a few?
All told, I would like to call on the finance minister and his deputy (instead of being in the limelight for ludicrous reasons) as well as the entire ministry to get involved and re-think this whole matter with genuineness.
May the Lord be with you and keep Zambia and may our peoples prosper beyond measure.
COMMENT - Less profits doesn't mean increased costs. There is nothing to be passed on to the workers or anyone else - MrK