In light of the recent closure at Mopani Copper mine, the UPND has announced the launch of its UPND Business Consultation Survey as part of the consultation process in further developing its policy platform for the 2016-2021 elections.
On the occasion of the launch UPND President Hakainde Hichilema made the following statement:
“The costs of bad economic management and failed leadership are being felt across Zambia right now. We can’t afford another Mopani.
Power shortages and currency instability are hitting businesses that have already had to demonstrate great resilience in riding out the policy instability and confusion of recent years.
Unfortunately we are hearing regular reports of SMEs closing, and some of our biggest employers in the private sector have now suspended their operations.
As we have been touring across the country we have been consulting everywhere we go on the policies and programs our citizens would like to see from their Government. This survey provides a welcome opportunity for more detailed input from a range of businesses.
Our major criticism of the PF approach has been the failure to properly consult and develop a clear plan and vision for the economy, which provides a stable and supportive environment for Zambian businesses and attracts international investment.
The UPND recognises the vital role that entrepreneurs, businessmen and women and investors play in creating jobs and driving sustainable economic growth in Zambia. Given recent challenges, the UPND is now undertaking additional efforts to refine and further develop its policies on supporting businesses and industries that will create employment, develop value-add industries and diversify the economy. This is the sensible way to increase protection from future fluctuations in commodity prices.
We are also consulting respondents about how we can create more opportunities for young Zambians in particular, such as through apprenticeship schemes and skills training initiatives. This will help us calculate what is manageable to deliver to the Zambian people before promising the world and delivering very little.”
Following the survey and further consultations with civil society, experts and members of the public the UPND plans to launch a Business Manifesto together with its 2016-2021 Election Manifesto.
Businesses who would like to participate should send a request to upndinfo AT gmail DOT com.
Issued by: UPND National Campaign Centre, Lusaka