First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Chairman and CEO Philip Pascall
First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Chairman and CEO Philip Pascall

While I agree that there is room for dialogue between the Patriotic Front (PF) government and the mining industry in Zambia, the farewell message from First Quantum Minerals (FQM) director of operations Matt Pascall published by Lusaka Times on January 2, 2019, is disgraceful.

For a country that has rewarded him with incredible opportunities as a person, his departure should be that of gratitude and grace. There is a time and a place to criticize your host nation. Your farewell message should not be it.

If there was any doubt that some expatriate executives in mining are incompetent, Pascall just erased that doubt. When you are leaving a job opportunity, or a country for that matter, your parting message ought to be positive. That is not the time to settle scores. FQM’s position on the new taxes can be made clear by their media relations. That is Organizational Behavior 101.

Reading his farewell message, Pascall finds it ‘odd’ that the most rewarding part of his experience in Zambia is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aspect of his job. For a leader who has the right set of values, corporate or otherwise, there should not be anything ‘odd’ about finding fulfillment in corporate social responsibilities. As a matter of fact, a true transformational leader finds fulfillment in the impact she or he has on all stakeholders, especially employees and the surrounding community. It is abundantly clear that Pascall is a transactional leader who instinctively cares about the bottom line, trying his hardest to pay lip service to CSR.

The Zambia Government needs to revise employment policies from executives to the frontlines and prioritize Zambian citizens. Zambia can not afford to continue having executives in mining that have no vested interest in the long term sustainability of country.

Those to whom a stint in Zambia is just a ‘chapter’ in their careers can not make decisions that have long term value for the host nation. Surely, Pascall has extensive experience in mining, but he does not have the right set of values for a leader at that level. His situational awareness leaves much to be desired. Zambia needs mining executives that have a deep understanding of the immediate environment they conduct their business in. Those that vested interest in sustainable legacies of the country, while still maintaining a healthy return on investment for shareholder.

Additionally, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) needs to be run like the big business that it needs to be, and not the kantemba (Make shift stall) that it is today, that only pays fake dividends at the expense of real growth. When the Zambian Government and the mining industry reach impasse in negotiations, ZCCM-IH should have liquidity to execute some hostile take overs as a defacto best alternative to a negotiated agreement. ZCCM-IH is audibly silent during the tax dialogue. Most importantly, ZCCM-IH should have a pipeline of up and coming Zambian mining executives ready to take over leadership when entitled and ungrateful expatriates like Pascall decide to leave and pursue ‘the next chapter’. Our people do not have the next country to go to as ‘the next chapter’. We owe it to them to make living in Zambia the best one chapter life she has the potential to offer.

By Patriotic Zambian Miner

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Welldone my brother. ….so many ungrateful lepers in this world. He has only few years to live on this planet and leave his Zambian acquired wealth behind

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    • The issues we are having with the mining houses is a result of our failure to manage our resources and use them profitably. If ZCCM had been run efficiently and progressively our copper would not be owned by foreigners. if we didnt have greedy andI unwise politicians we wouldnt allow our mines to be owned 100% or even 80% by foreigners. If we had responsible leaders, we wouldnt have so called expatriates coming to do jobs that we can do ourselves. We are simply reaping what we sow. We need to start changing the operating parameters in the ming sector

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    • Look here… a white man is a child of darkness. Never expect gratitude and grace from a white man.

      The best way to deal with a white man is keeping him at bay whilst you trade with him and the world.

      Africa has been beaten not once, not twice, not three times, not four times by a white man but with times without number.

      Zambians in their desperation gave Pascal an opportunity thinking it was mutually beneficial and he has made his billions and basically leaving and thinks of us as a very dull and stup…id people.

      In a way he is right… Zambians are either stu…pid or we have our own citizens in position of influence making these critical decisions because they want to be rich.

      We were producing copper more than Chile. When Zambian mines were going down together with…

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    • …. throuput in the same global crisis of oil and plummeting copper prices Chile was also experiencing, Chile’s throughput surpassed Zambia from 500,000 to 5,000,000 metric tonnes. Zambia went in reverse to 250,000 Mt.

      Now watch this… someone else is coming and we still do not learn, they will do exactly the same thing using other methods.

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    • So he is not allowed to say his peace because he is white?

      Is he the only complaining about heavy taxes? No.

      Learn to be reasonable Zambians.

      Blame our government for not having a clue on how to govern you.

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    • The level of obsequiousness being ilustrated by bloggers is amazing. The way we tremble when a white man speaks is shocking and when our fellow Zambian raises his voice against a white man we all jump on him and tell him to rather point fingers at our leaders. These colonialists have controlled our mineral wealth for hundreds of years. They make huge profits from our copper and yet look at the sorry state of the copperbelt- once a pride of Zambia. Yes our leaders share blame but remember we follow the the archaic british democratic system they left with us which is skewed in favor of the illiterate poor masses that will vote any tin with the loudest noise and deepest pockets. Yes I’m sure those will slave mentality will attack me for this point.Go ahead and be colonial as.s lickers for…

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    • The problem is not other people, call them expatriates or whatever, the problem is us as a nation. Put a Zambian there and the first thing he wants to do is enrich himself. First Quantum with all honesty stayed in Zambia when other mine investors were cutting down or leaving the nation. Yes they are not perfect but they have tried and have done more on the social corporate front than other Mining firms, compare them for instance to Mopani, KCM or even the Chinese. So to Mr Pascall I say hats off to you and job well done, dont listen to these empty tins you did your job to the requirements of your shareholders and I do believe you left a positive legacy in NW Province and Zambia as a whole.

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    • I’ve worked with FQML in DRC, Zambia and Mauritania.
      At Sakania, they built an ill-equipped medical clinic, and called it CSR
      In Mauritania, they supplied the Guelb township with 200 cubic metres of additional water per day and called it CSR. Yet, there is no toilets in the township.
      In Zambia, you know the story. They taught the local residents bee keeping and gave school children exercise books and lead pencils…and called it CSR.
      In Mauritania, they export gold, hidden in copper concentrate, undected by the inept government.
      The salary discrepancies between expats and locals transcends every facet of their operation.
      Knowledge transfer from expats to locals is alien to FQML’s culture.
      THE LIST IS ENDLESS GUYS

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    • Pascal is not going anywhere he is going to oversee their next cashcow in Panama…who says farewells should be positive; why do you like to be lied to?

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  2. The visionless PF & Chanda are yapping that the mines are just giving “empty threats” but the great Matt Pascall is now gone.
    The problem with visionless PF is that they are incompetent to their inconsistent failed policies.

    2021, no third term for Lungu who breached the constitution by not giving power to the speaker & PF must be kicked out of stolen power after the constitutional court turned out to be a kangaroo one.

    The Skeleton Key
    ~206~

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    • Skeleton,
      Zambia does not need corporate social responsible companies but companies that pay their taxes. Let Pascal go and loot other countries. Zambia has had enough of him and his kind.

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  3. There is nothing wrong in demanding the mines pay their fair tax to zambia , but what is wrong is heaping the incompetence and mismangment of Zambias economy by lungu and pf on the mines.

    There is nothing wrong in expecting a lean profitable business. That is what every bussiness strives for.

    Zambia should now be at a stage were we maximize taxes from mines , and if they downsize workforce , we simply redeploy the miners to other diversification industries.

    But after spending $17 billion, we find we are still fully dependent on the mines for everything. There are no jobs. The economy is stalling.

    A hallmark of Lungu and pf incompetence and corruption.
    News from the industrialised world is not good either with a slump in the global economy predicted.

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  4. “…There is a time and a place to criticize your host nation. Your farewell message should not be it….”

    Zambian and PF disease…..calling a spoon a spade…..calling corruption social mobility, calling incompetence of lungu as humble, calling oppression of the opposition as law and order …..

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  5. I just wonder what level of leadership the author of this article has. We should not be afraid of being criticized.

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  6. The biggest challenge we have as a nation is that our budget is based on taxes that are introduced intermittently especially on mining. Mining is a long term venture and taxes should be set as such with a long term perspective in mind. Changing tax structures arbitrary has a negative impact on both the investors and the government alike. Hence this tag of war ,in as much as we support government to collect more from the mines, we must also remember that they have borrowed abate at high cost to invest and expand production. The issue of taxes should not be tied to our inability of getting bail out from the IMF and other multinational donors, this should be a protracted all inclusive initiative with a long term foresight. Changing at whim to please the masses will simply put our economy in…

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    • @Bamwine…

      It is not as simple as you put it. A country is being run here with numerous challenges of which corruption is numero UNO.

      Your comment would suit a personal business, not a country.

      The problem we now face as Africa is everyone being an expert. We learnt from Kaunda, booted him out, what did we get, Chiluba, what did he do? I leave it for you to muse on.

      But I give Kudos to Zambia. After our threat Mwanawasa dies, despite an error in his judgement of waking up Bwezani… we came out as a nation and kicked him out. Ofbwhich Mwanawasa would have expected us to do and he’d apologise whilst also telling us the safety net was us resolving his error.

      There is corruption and development in the country. We need a preponderance of development to outweigh corruption…

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  7. continued… in limbo and scare away investors. We should plan for a mining tax for at least ten year period before revision.

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    • Greatfull for what ?? The man served with distinction, you wanted him to be sontaring and dancing dunnuna with you rats ???

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    • This is a family that found dumps everyone considered rubbish in Ndola and saw wealthy in them. Has made money and through their hardwork many other Zambians making money through supplying of goods and services as well as getting employed. What we are missing in Zambia is, as long as money does not come directly from the hand of the investor, He is paying nothing. Look at the malls in Solwezi due to FQM’s presence, commercial farms that have come up in the province, to mention but a few….Mind you FQM started the mines from the scratch.

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  8. In the UPND, we believe that it is not possible to achieve any meaningful and sustainable job creation, business growth and economic development when a government (like the PF one has done) takes money/resources (through over taxation and corruption) away from the efficient hands of individual citizens and businesses and places it into the hands of a few (greedy and corrupt ) PF officials and politicians who are inherently incapable of exercising any kind of honest and prudence in resource utilisation or management”, he added.

    HH On LT.

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    • HaSpaka Plagi

      So you believe in undervaluing national companies and buying them within a clique of family and friends and shipping money to Panama?

      This is farcical… had badala not done this, I would have thrown my support for him. But who the he11 does he think he is? He has grown hairs around his Balz using our money and wants to rule us?

      How does a rapist vie for a position of chairman in an all woman social club?

      Badala… our government is corrupt but HH disqualified himself.

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    • Lungu sold cold storage board of Zambia to foringners but instead of investing in Panama ,he drank all the money and went on to get debarred for defrauding a widow….talk of disqualification ?

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  9. One of the tricks used by mining house to perpetuate the so called tax holiday was to “sell” their mines…change the name at the end of the tax holiday and start a new holiday. Sad enough non of our paper intellectuals noticed this. Like any business the mining companies will try by all means to evade their responsibilities taxes included. You can’t blame them….it’s up to you to be alert all the time. Don’t fraternize them. Treat them you deal with us small businesses.

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    • @11 Ndanje SPOT ON, and we have seen this kind of practice with Retail Establishments especially in their early years of coming to Zambia from S.Africa. Lumwana mine was owned by group calling itself Zambezi Resources and just a few years into production sold it to Barrick Gold and we later foolishly sold the few shares we had there under RB. Nobody really cared to investigate why the mine changed ownership!

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    • How many mines have done that? Can only recall Lumwana & Chibuluma. Do Chinese also pay Taxes. Production figures from their mines are not a public domain.

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    • I worked for one Chinese owned mine…and I was involved in mining from the planning up to metallurgical level and I knew how much concentrate we produced. I also was privileged to see the accounts which met all statutory obligations like taxes, pensions etc. There’s nothing you can tell me about this. I also worked for a non Chinese company where most positions were held by Brazilians and other South Americans.

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  10. Our biggest problem is not the investors but our Leaders, our technocrats and ourselves!
    How on earth was KCM sold for $25million US Dollars? Do we know how to value our resources? Secondly, who came up with ZCCM shareholding of 20% in most mine operations instead of 50:50 at best? Some worst case scenario was a shareholding of 2%. In other words, we did a very bad job where shareholding is concerned. We miss out on dividend payouts. The only mine tax we seem to know best is Royalties which is the lowest level of taxing the mines. Without a sensible shareholding stake in these operations, we have no way of maximizing revenue from our mineral wealth. Let’s get back to the drawing table! The last and major problem is us the citizens! We are not doing our civic duty of doing checks and…

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  11. The last and major problem is us the citizens! We are not doing our civic duty of doing checks and balances on our leaders. We have been torn accross partisan, ethnic and religious lines and this is what suits the politician best to continue deceiving the masses!

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  12. If there was any doubt that some African countries are incabable of managing their economies, Zambia just erased that doubt.

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    • @Ralph Garda, colonialists like the British have survived on “stealing” other people’s resources. Look at the emblem of the English national team, 3 Lions and yet there are no lions in the UK except of course those stolen from Africa and Asia. They are comfortable with the status quo and don’t want us to benefit anything from our resources. Nay, the time has come and if you think African countries are incapable of managing their economies wait for the BREXIT and introduction of fair trade.

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  13. I have on many accounts argued that these investors come to do business with us in their respective specialitize and its important as a country to realise this quick and firm. For instance, FQM specializes in copper mining and that’s there core business meaning they can only do business in countries that have copper ore deposits and Zambia is one top country in the world. Where else will they go to if they cant do it here in Zambia? Certainly not an oil rich nation because thats not what they do! Similarly, funny companies come to Zambia to invest in electricity industry but look at how they reap from us, surely arent we educated and experienced enough to stop this? Can a Zambia “investor ” dectate terms in the US or West? But why do we allow this daylight robbery for centuries, why?

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  14. Malinso: Where else can investors do business?
    Chile, Peru, Panama, China, USA, Australia, any EU country, Canada, Mexico… the list goes on… all of those countries produce more copper than Zambia, have lower tax rates, and better governance, and less corruption, and better infrastructure etc. etc. Maybe, just maybe, this is why FQM nixed the Kansanshi sulphide 4 upgrade, the Enterprise nickel mine, the Fishtie Cu-Co mine, the Sentinel expansion, and opted to divert investment to increase the capacity of Cobre Panama from 80Mtpa to 100Mtpa.

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    • But are the conditions the same as here? My advice to you is that go to the library and read on how mining in countries like Chile is arranged between government and the investor. Two mistakes were made in Zambia 1 ) GRZ grabbing the shares of AAC and RST to create the monster called ZCCM (we dubbed it Zambia Cipuba Chaonaula Mine) 2) giving back the mines to foreign companies without putting security checks in the contract of sale.

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  15. Ba LT, you are subjecting Zambians to your editorial review on Mr Pascall’s departure in the name of patriotic PF Zambian miner. Whenever an adverse comment is made about PF regime, that person is label ed enemy of PF government. PF government is unadvised in any manner, form or shape. If Phillip Pascall was Zambian PF regime would have created tramped up charges to incarcerate him. As of now PF regime is so incapacitated of any action except to demean Mr Pascall and spur hate commentary about him. PF regime should not blame others for its failure to manage economic national affairs.

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  16. When only one side of the issue is peddled by regime propaganda media, it is good to be given an alternative opimion.Some may disagree, others agree. What do you want to do, shoot the other messenger because you don’t like the message?

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  17. flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    I think the writer is confusing what a business objective/goal of a capitalist commercial entity is with that of a government, a socialist one for that matter. Listen mate, this is Capitalism where the business’ top priority and/or interest is that of their investors and to make profit for them.

    The onus of social responsibility is on your Uncaring government. Look, the mines can’t bail out the government of Zambia… they can’t carry the burden of responsibility to alleviate poverty caused by stealing, corruption, mismanagement, waste of national resources by this PF government.

    Next time be a little vigilante by picking up people who genuinely cares for the country and it’s people. The worst mistake that could happen in this country is natianalising those mines as we will soon…

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    • flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

      … The worst mistake that could happen in this country is natianalising those mines as we will soon go back to the KK times. Instead of issuing unwarranted beer-hall political threats, this govt should have engaged the mines in high level closed doors negotiations to reach an amicable threats.

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    • flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

      Read that as: “…amicable solution”

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  18. flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    A very smart lady, a family friend who is a top executive of a successful multinational investment banking company once advised me upon hearing that I had ambitions to go and do business in Zambia. she said: “…the problem we have found when trying to do business in these developing third world countries is that there is no rule of law and there is constant political interference and corruption is rampant… you have to be on the good side of the politics for the business to be successful”.

    She was absolutely correct, looking at this PF regime!

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  19. It’s disgraceful that the author doesn’t want to give his name but hide under a pseudonym of patriotic miner. If he was really patriotic he would have come out in the open. This just shows that he had a personal grudge against the same man and his trying to vent his frustration out through this article since the man had gone and cannot answer back.

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  20. Mr. Razor..you have a problem with the English language. The core of the Patriotic miners message is simply that of advising this Pascal if not Rascal to be graceful as he departs Zambia. The CSR he barked about was from supernormal profits from Zambian copper! While we are grateful as a nation, his conglomerate made enough money from Zambian to be able to splash some on CSR. We cannot be held at ransom for that! Farewell Rascal… Hope you find a country where you can dictate what tax you wish to pay!

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    • Sir/madam, Pascall is not dictating what tax he wish to pay. The government is calling shorts. The government can go ahead and implement the new taxes. If FQM lays of some workers, it will be an obligation for the government to redeploy or find jobs for the workers who will be laid off since the government does not want the workers to be laid off.

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  21. Hats to Pascall. Pascall is talking on behalf of shareholders who may even include Zambians shareholders. ZCCM-IH is silent about laying of Workers. I have noted from the comments, some of my fellow Zambians and the author of this article are being driven by emotions, not by facts. Many want to hear what they want to hear. It’s good that Pascall pointed out some of the negatives. For Zambia to advance rapidly in economic-developments, we have to deal with negative and positive to start a car. The same way when we know the negatives (weakness), then we can apply positives inputs to solve a problem. Unfortunately, I have heard from some of the commentators saying they have worked for the mines and know how much the mines makes. I believe them, but do not know the business model of FQM. If…

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  22. The PF govt inherited a positive balance sheet. They were advised not to over borrow. Everybody, the opposition, the world Bank, IMF all advised. Good advice was ignored. Now after sweeping all the parastatal revenue into govt coffers it’s still not enough because the debt burden is too much. The Chinese will continue to encourage us to borrow ourselves into desperation until they can take over even the little remaining national assets.
    Wake up country men, govt workers and departments are all dry. No cash. Council workers going unpaid. Lecturers suffering the same fate. Mountains of taxes on private citizens.

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  23. So I’m short the govt used up all the reserves, swept all the collections from parastatals like ZICTA, ERB, ZRA etc through some instrument, came back to citizens for more taxes, toll gates, borehole tax, speed cameras, rental tax, tenant tax to mention just a few. Tried the IMF, they are too smart, they just said you guys need to get your act together, next tried the mines, they are also saying, not here. You can’t take our money. Apart from KCM who got the mine for free, the others developed the mines using loans.
    Let us wake up as Zambians. This country does not just belon* to us and these political monkeys called cadres. We have future generations to worry about. We are all going to be dead in 50-100 years. What are we leaving for our children and those Zambians yet to be born.

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  24. These guys have failed. Let us wake up before they sell our country to the Chinese. I don’t blame the Chinese. Like the KCM Indians who can pass an opportunity like Zambia. We have exactly what they need and they will actually grab all our resources. Historians are recording. We know who will be recorded as the trickstars or fools who sold our country to foreigners.
    God has reserved some rooms for you corrupt individuals in hell Incase you escape human justice. I am not political and do not endorse anyone. But I also am very Zambian and am concerned about what we are doing to our country. We are all in this net together. When it snaps shut, it’s us who are going to be inside. Let us do the right thing now. I don’t want to join the diaspora. My maximum rights on earth are here.

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  25. I remember SATA in his victory speech saying we will make sure that the Zambian people will not regret this decision (to give PF a chance and kick out MMD). Wherever you are ba SATA, we are regretting. Of course apart from the cadres who are the only beneficiaries.
    If this is a Titanic, some people think their chances are better because they are on the upper decks. Justice will still catch up. My rant is against corruption in govt and investors (some mines).
    Every project is overpriced, Lord save us.

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