Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Zambians are capable of running mines – Sata

Zambians are capable of running mines – Sata
Written by Lambwe Kachali in Mongu
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 7:28:50 PM

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday said Zambians are capable of running the mines. And Sata said President Rupiah Banda is breaching the Constitution by ignoring an important aspect that Zambia should this year undertake the delimitation exercise.

Commenting on President Banda's statement that Chinese and Indian investors were the only ones who seem ed to have money left for investment in the mines, Sata said Chinese investment in the country had never been profitable to the people.

He said the motive of Chinese investors in Zambia was to milk the meagre resources the country had for development. Sata said as far as he was concerned, the Chinese would never develop Zambia.

Sata reminded President Banda that the country had experienced a number of copper thefts perpetrated by some Chinese nationals and, therefore, allowing them to take charge of the country's mines would be like asking a monkey to oversee a maize field.

"I would like to remind Rupiah that the Chinese will not develop any African country, including Zambia. The Chinese are very shrewd people. Their diplomacy is to milk the underpopulated developing countries by bringing cosmetic advancements. We cannot expect the Chinese to develop Zambia," Sata said.

"Only shrewd politicians...will take advantage of the Chinese technology and money to invest in our mines. China at the moment has the largest population in the world with a small land. So, they will just come here, milk our resources and make money to feed their billions of human beings in China. They will milk and leave us with environmental disaster.

"Some Zambians are very capable of running these mines but the President seems to be misled by these bootlickers."

Sata also said as evidenced by poor conditions of service and ill-treatment, among other vices which Chinese investors were subjecting Zambian workers to, a President who loved his country and people would not allow them to take up key sectors such as the mines.

"The problem is that the Chinese are not like people from Western countries. Before Chinese knock on your door, there is corruption. Corruption is the one which knocks the door and later assistance and that assistance, they are not assisting you per se. They are assisting themselves because whatever the Chinese pretend to bring, they are going to bring more people from their own country," Sata observed.

"So the Chinese will give you less on the left hand and get more on the right hand. They will give you one on the left hand and get nine from the right hand. So, we have to be very careful."

On Indian investors, Sata said he had fears that since President Banda's administration did not have a political programme, he would allow what he termed as “card box” Indians to invest in the mines.

"Indian investors can be handled but very carefully. First of all, we have lived with Indian investors even before independence. But you need a strong programme to monitor and control them. But when you have a corrupt political programme like this one of comrade Rupiah, you are going to bypass the correct Indians and bring in card box Indians. There are two types of Indians - there are those whose graveyards are in Zambia, those you can trust. And then we have the card box Indians who have no house in Zambia, who have no graveyard in Zambia. Those Indians are even worse than the Chinese," Sata.

"Examples of genuine Indians include Rajan Mathani [Finance Bank chairman] the owners of Trade Kings, Saro Industries and a few others. But the rest are card box Indians who will just come here and rape the country."

Sata said it was sad that Mutati was only concentrating on attracting foreign investors instead of focussing on encouraging local investors to run key sectors of the economy.

He said if given necessary incentives, local investors were capable of improving the economy.

And Sata also said no matter what it took, there was need for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to institute a delimitation commission to spearhead the delimitation exercise.

He said it was worrying that President Banda seemed to have no focus for the country although general elections were due in two years’ time.

Sata challenged President Banda not to ignore the delimitation exercise because it was of great importance in democratic governance.

He further advised President Banda not to be casual in his approach towards national matters.

"People hire an architect because an architect lays a plan of what he wants the house to be, minus that those are what they call illegal buildings, subject to destruction by any local authority. Now all over the world, the government has to draw up a plan. Speaking from experience, Rupiah Banda has lost it in everything he speaks or does. His approach to important issues is very casual. In 2009, there is supposed to be delimitation of constituencies. People have complained that some constituencies like Kasempa, Mfuwe, Kanchibiya, Malole and many more others are very vast. So, we are supposed to do delimitation but the President did not talk about it in his speech to Parliament," complained Sata "Now with or without completing the work of the 'corrupt' NCC this year, delimitation should take off. Government should suspend NCC to pave way for delimitation because if we don't do it now, it will be dragged to 2019 since it has to be done every ten years."

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home