Dr. Lubinda Haabazoka
Dr. Lubinda Haabazoka

By Dr Lubinda Haabazoka

What will determine our destiny is how well we control the use of our mineral resources. The time for politicking over the mines is over. Zambians should benefit from the mines the same way the mines benefited Zambians during ZCCM. Every well meaning Zambian should rally behind government to ensure that workers are not sacrificed just to arm twist government. From over $6bn of minerals sold a year, GRZ hardly retains $300m in mineral royalty taxes. Other European countries continue to develop at the expense of Zambians.

The Zambian government newly announced tax regime is about to kick in. As usual, some mines are already talking about voluntary separation and lay offs. There are hardly any mine suppliers benefiting on the mines. The most we hear are mosquito nets being donated by some mines! How can you develop a country if $6bn leaves the country in raw materials and the only thing you get are mosquito nets in social corporate responsibility and $300m in mineral royalty. A tax that was tax deductible for the purpose of calculating corporate income tax?

Copper prices above $6000 yet the Copperbelt looks like all mines are on care and maintenance? The only mine showing promising signs and benefiting Zambians in Kitwe is the black mountain!!!! At least we are happy that Zambians are being made rich!!!! Now imagine if Chapamo can export the cobalt itself????

To all Zambians, this is the only time that we can arm twist the mines to comply with the new tax regime. It’s the only time because the political will is there!!!!

For example The Kitwe Chingola and Kitwe Ndola Dual courage way were built at a great cost by GRZ. Guess whose traffic is contributing to the wear? The mines!!!!! How can mines threaten to lay off employees when a company independent of government proposes to increase electricity tariffs?

All mine unions, all mine workers, all Copperbelt citizens and Zambians in particular should rally behind government to ensure that we collect enough money so that in future, taxes for citizens can fall and infrastructure is developed like a town in Switzerland where most of the copper and cobalt money goes according to a documentary you can find on YouTube!!! You can cheat the Zambian of the 90s that had no idea of a market economy but you can’t cheat a Zambian of today that have all information and knowledge!!!!

We should not be cheated that Zambia has an unfavorable mine tax regime. Which country can entertain a situation where it’s not mandatory for money to come back after the sale of minerals resources? We are aware of schemes where even Zambians are being used to sign petitions to force government to reverse the new mine tax regime citing loss of mine jobs as a reason! In which country can a Zambian company go and behave in a similar manner? It’s a shame that at one hand we condemn debt accumulation for infrastructure development yet we support the flight of monies from our mining industry.

Zambia has gold. Who has ever seen it? Why don’t we talk about cobalt?

If we continue accepting arm twisting, posterity will judge us harshly!!!!!

And to Zambians that continue to aid those that do not mean well, your children will have no country to go back to. It’s only in Zambia that your children need to visa to stay. Of what use is money to a person who lives in a poor society????

Let us ensure that we support GRZ on this move!!!! It’s either now or never!!!!

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17 COMMENTS

    • This current crop of thieves cannot and will not liberate our poor masses. For them as long as they have Range Rovers, blocks of flats in Lusaka and other property in Joburg, Dubai & an off-shore dollar account, then all is well.

      Let’s give a chance to self-less leaders who who are not excited about getting rich put poor masses interests & welfare in front. Not this den of thieves who can auction the country’s resources to Chinese for a few pieces of silver.

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    • @1.1 maloza , I HOPE YOU DON”T MEAN GIVING ZAMBIA TO HH and his UPND BCOZ HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH SOME MAJOR MINING HOUSES IS EVEN WORSE!! in 2015 campaign HH condemned increased taxes on mines which his MPs had unanimously voted for in parliament. He sounded as a messiah to the mining sector and even today as we talk, some of his prominent members like Dr.Situmbeko Musokotwane are in support of lower taxes for mines and infact it is under RB and Musokotwane as Finance Minister that the windfall tax which based on sliding scale of Copper prices on the world market!!

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    • sorry meant to say “…infact it is under RB and Musokotwane as Finance Minister that the windfall tax which based on sliding scale of Copper prices on the world market was remove!!

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    • Stealing is an occupation in Namwala and PANAMA. Good job professor Habaazoka. DOn’t listen to CHILDISH’s children.

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  1. This is very true and can’t be said often enough. The funny thing is that even those that come for our resources know that they would’nt be so rich if Zambians had a fair share of their resources.

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  2. …..Which country can entertain a situation where it’s not mandatory for money to come back after the sale of minerals resources?
    Imagine!! who allowed this to happen? And you wonder why the Zambian Kwacha is not gaining strength because it’s(i.e Zambian Kwacha) underlying asset(value),which is the copper(as a major export), does not come back in Zambian banks.That’s why I think the government must legislate the formation of an Export- Import Bank(Zambia)[Exim Bank(Z)], which must handle all exports and imports and make sure that all minerals sold outside are recorded and all revenues realised from the sale of exports(minerals) are brought back and be exchanged in Kwacha.In Kwacha,they(mine owners) must pay all the costs and taxes and convert their net profits back in the currency of…

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    • In Kwacha,they(mine owners) must pay all the costs and taxes and convert their net profits back in the currency of currency of their choice for externalising.This is whats Adam Smith,the father of capitalism preached in his book:’Wealth of Nations’.What happens at Londom Metal Exchange where other currencies are excluded, to their disadvantage, is a scandal of the highest order.

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  3. What you are saying is right but i think the message is directed at the wrong people.The Zambian people we have always been calling asking for the profits from the mines to benefit our country.The problem lies with the government who have made it easy for these mines to get away with almost anything.The government can say they have regulations in place but we need to see those rules being enforced because having a legislation is different from enforcing it.This message you wrote should be directed at the govt because all of us Zambians have been crying for this since times immemorial.The corrupt leaders are the ones getting kickbacks and letting the mines go free.I did an industrial attachment at the geological survey in Zambia and i have first hand experience of the corruption going on…

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    • continued……….
      in the mines.i saw it myself its a shame.The mines inspection starts and ends in the manager’s office. ideally we were to collect random samples from the mines and take them for analysis to ascertain the minerals they are mining compared to what they are reporting to the govt.Its a shame to note that the inspection starts and ends in the manager’s office without taking any samples.Just brown envelops and tanks of fuel that’s all it took.I was very surprised by the experience.That is why we can’t benefit from our mines.Too much corruption.
      The govt is the ones that will be allowing the mines to arm-twist them,if the leaders can stand their ground,the mine owners will comply

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  4. THANKS DR.HABAZOKA, YOU ARE A PATRIOT, UNFORTUNATELY THE PEOPLE YOU ARE ENCOURAGING TO TAKE COURAGEOUS STEPS TO ENSURE MINES PAY THE RIGHT TAXES ARE CORRUPT COWARDS WHO SEEM TO SOMETIMES CREATE TAXES TO INDUCE SHADY NEGOTIATIONS FOR BRIBES FROM THE MINES!! I have never seen this Government follow through with its decisions on the mines since the death of Sata who upon assuming office revised the Mineral Royalty tax, after his death, Government issues new taxes and reverse and allows mines top retrench workers at will and refuse to pay economic rates for electricity!! Every time mines issue threats Ministers rush to the Copperbelt and return with assurances that the problems are solved only to see the status quo of mines winning as Zambia and its people lose!!

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  5. Twasuminishanya, period! The new tax regime should come into effect now!! Those against the idea must leave the country now!! We must develop this thing called Zambia now as Sharon usually puts it. Well said Lubinda.

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  6. “To all Zambians, this is the only time that we can arm twist the mines to comply with the new tax regime. It’s the only time because the political will is there!!!!”

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