MMD President Felix Mutati says the partnership between his party and the ruling PF is meant to help steer the country away from the economic challenges the nation is currently facing.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Mutati said the push for the alliance was based on 4 key principles which he named as democracy, transparency, the rule of law and predictable governance.
He said the MMD was bringing to the table the experience, knowledge and the lessons they learnt from the mistakes they made during their time in office.
“What we bring to the table is experience, knowledge and lessons that we learnt from the mistakes we made. Our push in the alliance will be to tackle the challenges that are faced by Zambians in the area of debt management, in the area of energy crisis but much more important is that we will bring our experience to bear on how to tackle the challenges of unemployment particularly unemployment on the Copperbelt.
“One of the elements that we must not always forget is that politicians don’t create jobs, politicians only create the environment within which jobs can be created. The ones that create jobs are the private sector. In creating jobs we must address some of the ethos and challenges that the private sector actually faces particularly on the Copperbelt,” he said.
He explained the need for mining companies to extend business opportunities to the private sector so as to create jobs in the Copperbelt Province.
“Most of the private sector on the Copperbelt depend on the mining industry but what has basically happened is that they are being suffocated in terms of access to business in the sector so we need to have what you may call a bottle engagement with the mining sector to address the extension of business opportunities to the private sector,” he said.
He also said the country should address issues affecting SMEs who are the biggest employers.
“Today the financial sector is dry, it has no liquidity, how then does the private sector begin to create opportunity if they can’t borrow and if they are able to borrow it is at 40% interest rate but much more difficult is when you deal with SMEs who are the biggest employers across Zambia.
“SMEs tend to have from the micro finance and when they borrow from micro finance it’s at 60% so our experience as MMD is that if you pursue a monitory policy that is too tight like is being pursued today focusing on eliminating liquidity you are actually affecting the survival of the private sector so it’s those kinds of experiences that we want to bring to bear,” he said.
He further noted the need for sub contractors to equitably benefit from the infrastructure development taking place in the country.
“There is a lot infrastructure development taking place but our own people are not being equitably empowered because at the sub contractor level they are being under priced and consequently most of them are failing to deliver so we need to create an opportunity that these sub contractors who are predominantly Zambians can be able to survive,” he said.