As Zambia celebrates its 51 years of Independence, we as MMD youths wish to commend efforts by Government to economically empower local Zambians through small scale mining.
Our forefathers attained political independence but our generation has to work towards economical and social emancipation.
We firmly believe that Zambia will attain social and economic development solely by the efforts of its own people.
As much as we support Foreign Direct Investment, we believe that local investment by local Zambians will spur further development.
The turbulence going on in the mining sector where some foreign owned mines are being placed on care and maintenance could be avoided if majority of the mines were owned by indigenous Zambians.
The developments in Chingola on the Copperbelt where Tikumbe Mining Ltd is undertaking small scale mining are welcome and commendable.
We further applaud the efforts by His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Mines Minister Hon. Christopher Yaluma to resolve the impasse which surrounded the operations of the mine.
We are alive to the many obstacles and challenges that Hon. Yaluma faced when arriving at the decision to hand over the mine to Tikumbe Mining Ltd.
As MMD youths, it has always baffled us as to why Zambia has never had indigenous mine owners even after 100 years of mining history.
Tikambe is a good example of what local Zambians can do once they are given an opportunity. The mine has provided employment for local Zambians.
What is even more gratifying is that the mine has since started ploughing back into the local community through a vigorous Corporate Social Responsibility program.
We further commend the new management under its Chief Executive Officer Mr Ibrahim Yousuf who has committed himself to ensuring that the mine is back to production and the proceeds generated from the mine are shared with the local communities.
If Zambia has to produce mining magnates who will own huge mining conglomerates, it has to start now with deliberates policies and strategies as these demonstrated by President Lungu and Hon. Yaluma.
Indigenous Zambians have over the years developed the required skill set necessarily to run a mining operation.
It therefore follows that Government must continue on its path to support and empower local people that are making efforts to run such operations.
We also urge the local community around the mine area to give maximum support to Tikumbe Mining Ltd to ensure the sustainability of the operation because the local community are the ultimate winners in this project.
The step taken by Government to hand over the mine to local Zambians is in the right direction and demonstrates its commitment to creating a nation of wealth people who will control its economic destiny.
As MMD youths, we also wish to warn some foreign investors who are in the habit of promising heaven and earth to Government when applying for investment licences but fail to fulfil any of their commitments both to Government and to the communities they operate.
Such investors are not needed in the modern day Zambia and we wish to send a strong warning to them that their days are numbered because Zambians now have the capacity to manage their own affairs efficiently.
OFFICE OF THE MMD NATIONAL YOUTH SECRETARY
Contact: Bowman Lusambo
National Youth Secretary