Saturday, July 04, 2009

Mazabuka mayor asks govt to find viable replacement for Albidon

Mazabuka mayor asks govt to find viable replacement for Albidon
Written by George Zulu in Mazabuka
Saturday, July 04, 2009 2:58:14 PM

MAZABUKA district mayor Shadreck Mwiinga has said the pulling out and subsequent closure of the Albidon Nickel Mine in the district should be a lesson enough to government as they continue searching for an appropriate and viable investor.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mwiinga said the government should seriously consider finding a viable and sustainable investor, who would not pull out for any reason, to take up the operations of the mine. He said the current scenario in the nation where investors were pulling out at will was a source of concern.

"Government should look for an investor who is not going to fold the operations of the mine at will. We need an investor who would appreciate investing and operating in the country in terms of sustainability. We want to see profits not one who reaps and go out...No! We have learnt the hard way as Zambians on who should come to Zambia as an investor. And it shows that we need a strong investor who will stand the economic variances than to allow briefcase investors. And I hope that the government has studied the Chinese investor they want to bring and take over the nickel mine," he said.

Mwiinga said the government should learn the difficulties the investors who closed and pulled out had.

He said even leaving the country's economy into foreign hands would be suicidal to the nation and the people of Zambia.

Mwiinga said it was not only the issue of Albidon but also the situation on the Copperbelt was a source of concern.

He said Zambia needed investors who would sustain the aspirations of the people and the Zambian mining industry.

"Investors have helped Zambians to become poor and live in abject poverty because of lack of government's commitment. Look at people in Mazabuka ... were displaced to allow the setting up of the mine but the mine has failed to inspire the people economically and socially. So what we are saying is that we should not only look at the mining sector to be the only economic spine of the country. We should also promote other sectors such as agriculture, tourism and construction," said Mwiinga.

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