STOP ARM TWIST­ING OVER NEW TAXES, MINES OWN­ERS TOLD

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By ROGERS KALERO

MIN­ING com­pa­nies should em­brace di­a­logue in­stead of arm-twist­ing tac­tics when Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duces taxes which they may not be com­fort­able with,’’ $sso­ci­a­tion of Mine Sup­pli­ers and Con­trac­tors ($MSC) pres­i­dent $ugus­tine Mubanga has said.

Mr Mubanga said it was sad that, in­stead of re­sort­ing to di­a­logue in re­solv­ing is­sues of tax and oth­ers, some stake­hold­ers in the min­ing sec­tor have been in the habit of arm-twist­ing and send­ing neg­a­tive state­ments about the Zam­bian min­ing in­dus­try to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. He said in an in­ter­view in Kitwe that he has al­ways be­lieved that di­a­logue was a bet­ter way of re­solv­ing is­sues than arm-twist­ing tac­tics. “It has al­ways been sad that, in­stead of find­ing an am­i­ca­ble way of re­solv­ing is­sues in the min­ing sec­tor, some stake­hold­ers have al­ways come out with armtwist­ing tac­tics, es­pe­cially when gov­ern­ment in­tro­duces taxes which they may not be com­fort­able with. ¶’:e ex­pect staNe­hold­ers who have in­vested in our coun­try to seek di­a­logue with the gov­ern­ment and not to re­sort to send­ing neg­a­tive state­ments about the Zam­bian min­ing in­dus­try,’’ Mr Mubanga said. Mr Mubanga also said the min­ing sec­tor was key to Zam­bia’s econ­omy and must be used to distribute wealth to Zam­bians through giv­ing them mean­ing­ful con­tracts which they should de­liver with­out in­ter­fer­ence and in­tim­i­da­tion. He said the gov­ern­ment and Zam­bians in gen­eral should de­fine how they want to ben­e­fit from the mines so that the coun­try can move to­wards that di­rec­tion. He said em­ploy­ment and pay­ing tax to the gov­ern­ment should not be the only way to ben­e­fit from the min­ing sec­tor, but em­pow­er­ing Zam­bians through mean­ing­ful con­tracts should be the way to go be­cause if lo­cal Zam­bians are em­pow­ered through con­tracts, they would create jobs for their broth­ers and sis­ters. ¶’$s pres­i­dent of $M6C, , think, the min­ing sec­tor should be used as a chan­nel to wealth dis­tri­bu­tion to the cit­i­zens. This wealth can be dis­trib­uted through giv­ing mean­ing­ful con­tracts to lo­cal con­tracts who will in turn em­ploy lo­cal peo­ple. ¶’$s a na­tion, we have to de­fine how we want to ben­e­fit from min­ing com­pa­nies. :e need to put up laws that will pro­tect the busi­ness in­ter­ests of Zam­bians. Botswana and 6outh $frica had laws that pro­tects the in­ter­ests of lo­cal peo­ple. :e need to do that as well,’’ he said Mr Mubanga said var­i­ous play­ers or stake­hold­ers in the min­ing and other sec­tors were ex­pected to pro­mote the Zam­bian eco­nomic po­ten­tial in their re­spec­tive sec­tors in­stead of com­ing out so neg­a­tive. He said Gov­ern­ment should al­low play­ers in agri­cul­ture, tourism and other sec­tors to pro­mote and mar­ket the coun­try’s po­ten­tial by high­light­ing the ben­e­fits of in­vest­ing in the tourism or agri­cul­ture sec­tors. “The play­ers or stake­hold­ers in the agri­cul­ture, tourism and min­ing know the chal­lenges and ben­e­fits in these sec­tors and what is needed to be done to ad­dress the chal­lenges and de­velop the sec­tors. “6o it is for this rea­son that play­ers or stake­hold­ers should be al­lowed to pro­mote and mar­ket the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of Zam­bia on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,’’ he said

$s pres­i­dent of $MSC, I think, the min­ing sec­tor should be used as a chan­nel to wealth dis­tri­bu­tion to the cit­i­zens. This wealth can be dis­trib­uted through giv­ing mean­ing­ful con­tracts to lo­cal con­tracts who will in turn em­ploy lo­cal peo­ple.

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