HH says The Mines can’t wait to have him as President because he has promised them thst he will revert to VAT and reduce it from 16% to 10 percent to allow mines make more profit.
One would have thought that as a leader of the biggest opposition political party Mr Hakainde Hichilema would be the first one to demand that the mines must pay a fair share of taxes for the benefit of Zambia and Zambians but alas the man has decided to defend the multi-national companies at the expense of his own country and country men and women.
How can a man who seeks the highest office in the land choose to be on the side of foreign capital instead of standing for his own country?
The mines have since 1890 being reaping of Zambia and the measures that the Patriotic Front Government have put up are meant to ensure that mines pay a fair share of taxes for the benefit of Zambia and Zambians. And we expect every well meaning Zambian to support these Government efforts and not work the foreign capitalists in reaping off their country.
Zambia is losing about K9.6 billion annually in value added tax (VAT) refunds to exporters and manufacturers.
This has prompted Government to abolish VAT to replace it with a non-refundable sales tax to be effected in April 2019.
The new measure will benefit the consumers as well as strike a balance not to stifle production.
Currently, the country’s manufacturing base is too low to sustain the huge chunk of VAT refunds.
The 2019 budget tax reforms are meant to ensure Zambians benefit more from their resources, rather than continue accumulating debt while shareholders of mining houses are getting richer, it is appropriate that the debate should be extended to illicit financial flows which mines are alleged to be among the major culprits.
By all accounts, the mining sector should have been a saviour of the country’s economy. But, the reality is that whether the price of resources increase or decrease, the people do not benefit. Many Zambians, including the president, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, echo this view.
The entire mining sector is structured in such a way that mining companies always take the lion share of profits, leaving behind poor communities and massive environmental damage that mostly affects water and soil quality. Evidence abounds of polluted streams and rivers in the Copperbelt, all polluted by various mining activities.
Today, the prices of copper and cobalt, the minerals in which Zambia has the largest stake, have risen at an unprecedented high rate of USD7,000 and USD$80,000 per tonne respectively. This increase in price of these two minerals is a great opportunity for the economy of Zambia.
The question that needs to asked is why is Mr Hakainde Sammy Hichilema defending mines instead of Zambia and Zambians?