HH addressing the media at Dr Kambwili’s residence
HH addressing the media

By Sishuwa Sishuwa

In the 2019 national budget, the Minister of Finance proposed a few changes to Zambia’s mining tax regime. As well as introducing a 1.5 per cent increase in mineral royalty rates, Margaret Mwanakatwe also imposed a 5 per cent import duty on copper concentrates and a 15 per cent export duty on precious metals. Mwanakatwe further abolished the Value Added Tax and replaced it with a non-refundable Sales Tax. The response from mining companies was an immediate threat to lay off workers and scale down their operations. ‘If the 2019 Budget proposals are enacted, Zambia will have by far the highest tax burden of mining countries [and] more than half of [the country’s] copper mines will become loss making’, claimed Goodwell Mateyo, the president of the Chamber of Mines. ‘The only operational response available’, Mateyo added, ‘will be to scale back certain operations, reduce capital expenditure, and mine only the highest grades available. The unwanted effect of these survival measures will be lost production, lost investment, lost employment, and less supplies and goods procured from other parts of the economy’.

The new mining tax proposals have attracted plaudits from most Zambians who have long sought a fair proportion of the revenue from the country’s mineral wealth. Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema is however not among them. Appearing on Radio Christian Voice’s Chat Back programme on 18 January 2019, Hichilema refused to render his support to the proposed tax measures and instead gave a series of elusive replies to the interviewer’s questions on mining policy. So disenchanted about the government’s tax proposals are mining companies, Hichilema revealed, that they have told him they cannot wait for him to get elected to the presidency in order to sort out the mess in the sector. “The mining companies are saying ‘HH [Hakainde Hichilema] we are waiting for you to come [into power]. We will pay the tax which you will introduce because we know it is a fair tax’.” What do we make of all this?

The first point to note is that Hichilema’s comments on the proposed mining policy reveal his exceptional political ineptitude and raise serious questions about the nature of his relationship with mining companies. Is Hichilema the mines’ man? I personally could not believe that anyone in his position would publicly claim that mining companies are lining up a particular political leader and expressing a wish for that leader to take power immediately. Moreover, the UPND leader had absolutely no need to say what he did, since the journalist did not ask him whether or not mining companies want him elected. All that the journalist sought was Hichilema’s simple answer to a straightforward question: does he think mining taxes should be increased, decreased or stay the same? Hichilema struggled to provide a clear response and was frustratingly vague about what policies his government would implement in Zambia’s crucial economic sector. Apart from promising to revert to a VAT tax mechanism, he failed to outline what exactly is wrong with the PF’s approach to mining and what he would do differently. When News Diggers subsequently gave him an opportunity to clarify his position on the new mining taxes, Hichilema remained largely elusive and devoted much of his response to denying accusations from the governing Patriotic Front (PF) that he is in the deep pockets of mining companies, arguing that the ruling party deliberately twisted his comments in order to gain political mileage. It would be a costly mistake for Hichilema to think that it is only PF supporters who take issue with his pronouncements on the mining issue.

Multinational mining companies in Zambia are not looked upon favourably by much of the country’s population. I know many Zambians who do not support the PF but who both support the new tax measures and have expressed huge disappointment with Hichilema’s comments. Mining companies are presently engaged in what can only be termed as an attempt to blackmail Zambia. They have threatened to sack thousands of workers unless the taxes are reduced. The PF has commendably, if perhaps only temporarily, stood up to the mines, who have had a sweet deal in Zambia in recent years. Hichilema however is choosing at this crucial juncture to identify himself with the mining companies. This will surely become a stone around his neck if he ever stands in another election. I know that division has become a characteristic of Zambia’s politics, but there are certain sectors where it is in the best interest for everyone to pull together, particularly when it comes to guaranteeing the fundamental interests and security of citizens. For example, Zambia wins if there is a unified voice against: the low public earnings from the mining sector resulting from the infectiveness of the Zambia Revenue Authority, low taxes, transfer pricing and poorly negotiated development agreements between mining companies and the government; the exploitation of Zambian workers or the dispossession of rural residents of their land and livelihoods; the prevention of instability in the country by avoiding business deals and political arrangements that would plunge the country into conflict (i.e. uranium mining, nuclear energy, asylum for warmongers etc.), or the acquisition of more public debt. Hichilema would do well to reflect on this point.

The problem with the multinational mining companies in Africa is that they are the leaders of neo-colonial exploitation and expropriation. In real terms, Zambia gets far less from the mines today than it did in the early years of independence, particularly following the Mulungushi economic reforms of 1968 that increased the national stake in the sector. Zambian miners also get far less today in purchasing power parity and social benefits from the industry. The mining companies have devised various methods for ensuring that most of the value of the copper is collected by their shareholders and the company management, and very little goes to local workers or the Zambian government. There are various tricks for maintaining this system, such as giving kickbacks to government officials, employing foreign companies as contractors, using expensive expatriates for management positions (despite Zambia having had a School of Mines for close to fifty years!), and by transfer pricing. But perhaps the main method for expropriation of value is to keep local taxation low, both as profits tax and mineral royalty tax. The main strategy that mining companies deploy to maintain low taxes is to threaten government that they will reduce mining operations, or even move out of Zambia altogether if taxes are increased. These are credible threats for two main reasons. First, any pulling out, or even reduction of expansion programmes, will affect employment in Zambia and reduce tax revenue, thus the government may be ‘cutting its nose to spite its face’ if it tries to increase taxes. Secondly, the threats are credible because the mining giants are truly global multinational corporations, and they can fairly easily move their operations in the direction of a country where production costs are cheaper, taxation rates are lower, and bribing of government officials is even easier (the Democratic of Republic Congo, for instance, would arguably fit all three of these criteria). In other words, a large rich multinational is in a strong position to bully a weak African state such as Zambia, and has a large influence over government policies to support the mines by tax holidays, lower taxation rates, providing subsidies (such as cheap electricity), degrading the trade unions, overlooking environmental degradation, and so on.

The attempts by President Edgar Lungu’s administration to increase the mineral tax is therefore – on the face of it – a laudable effort to stand up to the mining companies and to make sure we Zambians are not bullied into complete poverty, but rather able to limit the levels of externalisation of profits so that the country can at least collect a decent proportion from its mineral wealth. Of course, with Lungu’s corrupt regime, one has to wonder whether the threats of increased mining taxation are just a bluff, and the underlying demand is instead for higher kickbacks or even shareholdings for government officials. In addition, there is the question of whether, if the government ever succeeds with its demand for higher taxation of the mines, the proceeds will ever reach the poor people of Zambia – or will instead merely provide more revenue for government officials to steal. Bearing in mind the preceding situation analysis, one can only wonder what on Earth Hichilema is doing. What exactly is his interest in protecting the mines from increased taxation? Why is Hichilema siding with the interests of the predator and against the interests of Zambia? Is he looking for his own share in the mining companies? Does he have some longstanding business interests with the mines, which may have been obscured by his entry into active politics? What ‘fair tax’ has he told the mines that they will pay under his presidency? Given the present situation, his implied claim that the new mining policy is unfair can only be read to mean that he is supporting the unwillingness (or is it blank refusal?) by mining companies to pay an increase in taxes. If Hichilema claims that the mining companies are saying ‘we are waiting for you to come’, it is reasonable to suspect that they think he would offer them a better deal: lower taxes, lower mineral royalties and looser local content requirements. Does Hichilema advocate these things and if so, why not admit and publicly defend them? Is he reticent because he knows such a position will be unpopular with Zambian voters? Hichilema is seeking to occupy the most important office in Zambia. He cannot afford to have private thoughts on public matters. We, the public, need to know where exactly he stands on the new mining tax regime. His silence, if anything, suggests a secretive closed-door approach to policy not much better than the openly incompetent approach of President Lungu and the PF.

It is worth noting that the basic economic position is that, for almost a hundred years, mining companies in Zambia have been milking our riches and engendering poverty and destitution. Our feet walk on copper, yet we remain absolutely poor, thanks to inept leadership from a succession of corruptible political leaders who pawn off the country for a few trinkets at a time, accumulate through brazen theft of public resources and the massive sale of Zambian assets to so-called investors, and strut around with self-importance when they are nothing but the disposable playthings of even bigger global kleptocrats. Our mineral wealth has been and continues to be taken from us, and when they have taken the whole lot, we shall remain with nothing and probably be the poorest country on Earth, with all our wealth transported to Geneva, Beijing, New Delhi, Ottawa, London and New York. From this point of view, Hichilema’s apparent intention to continue with and to support unbridled exploitation by mines is nothing less than an act of treason. Whereas he failed to be convicted of treason for a traffic violation, he appears to have now invented a much more substantive reason to be successfully convicted on the same charge. If these really are his plans, the most fantastic aspect of such plans are that he should be so naive as to make them plain before he is elected, thereby ensuring that we shall never be so stupid as to elect him into office. For a man who has said little or nothing about what he is going to do about massive poverty and corruption in Zambia, he now opens his mouth to reveal that his one big idea is to support and encourage the continuing exploitation of Zambia by foreign commercial interests!

The truth is that the benefit of keeping minerals in the ground, or banking them for the future, far exceeds the economic, environmental and social costs of a bad deal. So if mining companies threaten to leave because of the proposed small tax increments, Zambia would do well to pave the road for them. It is time we looked to longer-term strategies rather than short-term expediency. Banking our resources until such a time that we are in strong negotiating position or there is broader scarcity for metals that would enable us set improved terms for ourselves is better than emptying our underground wealth to largely benefit foreign commercial interests. One of the major downsides of the current extractive industry ownership structure is that it is made for corruption and for as long as the State does not have a decisive ownership stake in the strategic mining industry, (i.e. more than 50% as is the case in countries like Botswana, Norway, Sweden, China etc.), Zambians will also have limited means to public accountability for stolen resources. This is because a limited ownership structure (even with greater taxation) gives leverage for the majority shareholders to hide profits and obscure minority shareholders. In effect, accountability is increased where a publicly owned state enterprise exists. This is a problem that extends beyond Lungu and his administration; it is an issue that greatly benefited Frederick Chiluba and his corrupt friends in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy and, unless changed, would in the unlikely event of a Hichilema presidency also shape his behaviour (given his possible business interests in the sector).

Another implication that emerges from Hichilema’s bold claim that the mines ‘are waiting for [him] to come’ is that the mines now seem to feel themselves to be in such a bold and commanding position that they can publicly intervene in Zambian politics. Perhaps the mines now feel powerful enough to act as king makers, and provide the necessary funds and support to put Hichilema into office. How exactly will they do this? By deliberately causing unemployment to be blamed on President Lungu and the PF? By funding Hichilema’s election campaign ahead of Zambia’s 2021 election? Moreover, his assertion that mining companies support him could easily encourage the ruling party to be publicly more hostile during negotiations and justifiably accuse them of undermining the government. Mining companies may respond by distancing themselves from Hichilema and he may end up alienated from both their support and the support of Zambians. If this is the basis for Hichilema’s strategy, then he has carefully planned his own downfall. By declaring that Zambia’s mining companies are apparently so keen to place him in power, Hichilema has, in effect, put himself as the candidate of the mines and consequently cast Lungu as the candidate of the people (yes, Lungu, probably the most incompetent and divisive president that Zambia has ever had). In so doing, the UPND leader may have succeeded in extinguishing the little hope he may have had of winning the Copperbelt Province, without which it is almost impossible for any presidential candidate to win power.

Can Hichilema overcome popular perceptions that he is beholden to mining interests? I seriously doubt it. Hichilema’s cozy relationship with the Brenthurst Foundation, a mining lobby established by the Oppenheimer family that favours a low mining tax regime in Africa, places him firmly within the bosom of the interests of mining capital. The UPND leader has consistently in public statements portrayed himself as more empathetic to the concerns of mining companies rather than the mining communities. I have personally never heard Hichilema speaking in defence of workers against mining companies. Neither have I heard him expressing outrage against what is happening in North-Western Province, where we have allowed the re-creation of spatial apartheid in the new mining areas. Much like during the colonial era, mining companies on ‘the new Copperbelt’ have replicated the notorious racial colour bar: white mineworkers are paid exceptionally high wages, live in segregated estates with lavish housing and social facilities, while their black counterparts who do much of the labour are paid significantly less, housed in distinctively less lavish settings, and effectively left to fend for themselves. Where is Hichilema in identifying what looks very much like a new wave of colonialism? His solution to the woes of mining communities, that he will bring back Anglo America Corporation, sounds very much like the promises of a mining CEO, not a potential Head of State. This position has never been obscured by him or hidden from Copperbelt residents. It is in most public pronouncements he makes, and this probably explains why most Copperbelt voters will never fully trust Hichilema, or seen him as a viable alternative.

On a recent trip to Chingola, I struck a conversation with a miner at Konkola Copper Mine, who told me why many of his colleagues do not support the UPND leader. His observations, which I have translated from Bemba language to English, are worth quoting at length:

‘Hichilema does not speak for us. When he speaks on mining issues, it is to condemn the government or the PF, not the workings of mining companies or to draw attention to our low wages, poor working conditions and the general lack of safety standards. So many of my colleagues have died in Chingola and Chililabombwe mines owned by Vedanta’s KCM. For example, between April and August 2018, my colleagues Kelvin Chongo, Ezekia Mwape, Benson Solochi and Frederick Musonda all died tragically due to KCM’s lamentable safety record. They died from mining blasts or preventable accidents such as earth movements. Their deaths, like so many that happened before them, were never reported in the mainstream media. [Michael] Sata, when he was in opposition, used to speak for us. Now, we feel orphaned, as Hichilema appears to have no interest in highlighting our plight. Even Chishimba Kambwili, who is so vocal against AVIC, is silent on our plight because he is a supplier to the mines… Death trails us from the moment we enter the mine. Every time I leave my house for work, I say goodbye to my family because when you go underground, there is no guarantee that you will return home… Then you have the problem of suppliers and contactors not being paid on time. KCM is probably the worst on this score of all mining companies. On the Copperbelt, if you are not a miner, you are a contractor or supplier of goods and services to the mining companies. How do suppliers sustain their businesses and livelihoods if they are not paid? These are some of the issues that are important here, but we never hear Hichilema raise them.’

The question is: why? Between foreign commercial interests and Zambia, on whose side is Hichilema? If his few public pronouncements about mining are anything to go by, Hichilema’s affinities lie with the mining companies he once advised rather than the miners who live, work and sometimes die bringing copper to the surface. This reveals his poor political judgement, as despite their diminished numbers, Zambia’s miners remain politically important. All things considered, Hichilema is a very fortunate politician. The UPND leader is ridding the waves of weaknesses and mediocrity in Zambia’s politics that have created favorable conditions for him to emerge as the leading political alternative. In truth, he is simply competing for ‘government’ among basically a lumpen middle class that exploits regional, ethnic and mass poverty in their politics. In fact, our leading political elites, both in the opposition and ruling party, are all cut from the same class – a parasitic and uninspiring lot that has no real desire for genuine radical emancipatory politics the country is so desperately in need of. My wish ahead of Zambia’s 2021 election is that neither Lungu nor Hichilema appear on the presidential ballot. In some ways, the two need each other. Lungu’s manifold failures encourage many Zambians to support Hichilema even though he offers little other than that he is not Lungu.

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65 COMMENTS

  1. Nonsense and nonsensical drivel

    Leave HH alone and stop blaming him for zambia’s Short sightedness.

    Thanks

    BB2014,2016

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    • Sishuwa is seeking attention. Fact s mines employ best accountants and lawyers that are no match for the cadres at ZRA and Ministry of Finance. The tax regime should be a win a win situation and HH is right. We need smart engagement with the Mines and not political correctness as the historian Sishuwa’s long winded article seems to suggest

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    • Sishuwa started ok last year, but too much of every thing every day becomes nuisance.
      Sishuwa just quit teaching, soon no student will respect you. One of them will call an idyot!

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    • HH is now the blame for everything. MMD failures & now PF failures.
      Sishuwa has now joined Sun.day Cha.nda & Ant.onio Mwa.nza with obsession for HH.

      How can you blame your failure to satisfy your current wife on her future husband (after she divorces you)?
      Ati – “I eja.culate prematurely after 2 minutes bcoz your future husband will last for 3 hrs”.

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    • We all know HH is a notorious sadist. His siding with the mines is only so that if the mines lay off workers, then CB can either riot and cause blood shed(which HH is so thirsty for) or vote for him in 2021! HH is only happy when someone dies or there is a fire in some market or people losing jobs.
      As for the author, I suggest you call your tribal man HH and sought this animosity over mabisi. Am truly hoping this is your last article on that the sadist

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    • “The first point to note is that Hichilema’s comments on the proposed mining policy reveal his exceptional political ineptitude and raise serious questions about the nature of his relationship with mining companies” end Quote.
      You have said it all in this excerpt. Glad you’re getting to understand why rational actors and experienced security minds have long written him off for state leadership. Russians call such chaps “useful i.d.i.o.t.s”. Note, the context is not an insult, but a perfect description of a useful mole against his motherland’s interests and common man’s welfare. He has a shallow understanding of the political economy of nations.

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    • This is as good a piece as all that Dr Sishuwa has written so far. Very conscientizing and well argued. What l have always liked about Dr Sishuwa’s political commentary is his unquestionable neutral stance – though unthinking cadres see his works with partisans lens. His last statement confirms it all. Objectivity is the core of public intellectualism. Well done mwaiche wandi and keep it up. Both EL and HH have takeaways from this article.

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    • Thank you very Much for your insight article SiShuwa Sishuwa which I have enjoyed reading very much. My comment is that it is unfortunate that Zambians want a person to fail before they can come to his/her rescue. It is like one seeing another drowning and instead of rescuing you enter into jubilation instead.
      Zambia, has intellectuals who can do anything on this planet earth but they choose to sit back and watch. HH himself can be of a solution to Zambia’s economic crisis but he does not want to help because he wants Lungu to fail to govern. This does not happen in elite societies as they critisise and offer solutions lest they inherit broken economy once they are voted in themselves. There are Zambians who can fix the economy if they think it is not driving in the right direction…

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    • While I disagree with certain portions of this diatribe … this one today is a 100 by Sishuwa.

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    • “..infectiveness of the Zambia Revenue Authority, low taxes, transfer pricing and poorly negotiated development agreements between mining companies and the government”
      “The mining companies have devised various methods for ensuring that most of the value of the copper is collected by their shareholders and the company management, and very little goes to local workers or the Zambian government.”

      HH supports exploitation as he is selfish person. Look at Sanlam Life, Africa Life. They are resorting to transfer pricing in such a grand level that their capital is taken away every year, manifold of what they brought in as capital.
      Where is ZRA? Move into all his investment and impose K24 million penalties for every year of externalisation. Let him pay for his crafty ways.

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  2. I don’t know if HH is a lapdog of mining companies.But he’s the lightning rod of Zambian politics much like Raila Odinga ,Musi Maimane ,Kiiza Besigye and Julius Malema are a thorn in their respective countries.

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  3. Good article. I’m impressed today. The author might have fought with HH. Very balanced article. Good.

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    • The last part of the article is spot from the miner…it would be better for all if neither Hakainde nor Lazy Lungu appeared on the Ballot paper!!

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  4. i would love to apply for a job as a printer or any other that maybe available at your intuition. I am a Zambian aged 20 years my academic qualifications i have only a grade twelve certificate .your responses from you will be considered highly.
    cell phone number 0961997073 or 0975105585

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  5. Sishuwa, you are asking the right question. As a Patriot, I was equally shocked by HH’s comments of siding with the mines. That was not being politically astute.These mines are vampires of our economy and articles like the recent one i wrote on illicit financial flows and public outcry must given them food for thought and made them to cave in. They are no longer retrenching our brothers and sisters. What has changed. The change of minds by Mines must be embarrassing to HH. There are issues that should unite us as Zambians which include the robbery of mines, the need to negotiate better deals from Chinese, fight against corruption, excessive debt,need to create jobs for the young etc. I am an objective critic of the PF but when they do right like they did with mines and the good…

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  6. What do you expect from HH. He sold the mines for a song and got kick backs doing so. Then HHe goes Hahead promising the mines to fund his five failed campaigns that when he becomes president HHe His going to pay them back the monies.

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    • So you actually believe he did, where was the government, their layers. So we blame a single person for all these problems please use your heads!

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  7. Very balanced article the flaws related to HH failing to openly side with the Zambian miners, advice he should definitely pick and the emphasis in the article that Lungu is the most incompetent and divisive President Zambia has ever had

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  8. Trouble in paradise. There’s a general feeling and realisation among the upnd supporters that Kainde may not be the man to take them forward. While it pains them deeply that ECL is president, they do anything within their powers to discredit and destroy his name. ECL and his team have stood firm against the mines. They have gone a step further than Levy’s windfalls by abolishing VAT refunds. upnd has been in backward mode since 2006 and only came close in 2016 because of the decline of MMD. Had we had a strong MMD, upnd would be third!!

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  9. In all fairness Shishuwa is elaborate, intelligent, objective and critical political and social-economic analyst. Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s only that truth hurts. Shishuwa has raised very valuable points that any normal and sensible person would find hard yo ignore. The only problem I see with his analysis is that it is so scientific that it begs for very hìgh human intellectual faculties in order to understand the valuable concepts embedded here in. Hence mere cadres of Upnd with little or no understanding capabilities of D

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    • The young man can rule Zambia

      Antonio Mwanza

      Cornelius Mweetwa

      Levy Ngoma

      These are leadership material

      Am a non partisan political consultant

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  10. This is by far the best article to have come from Dr. Sishuwa. It provides so much detail on why HH should never ever be seen as Zambia’s saviour. If only our opposition parties or the ruling party were able to bring out such detail, HH would have long been irrelevant to Zambian politics. Sishuwa would also do well to pen another piece on HH’s greed with regards to issues of land. Of course, as Sishuwa points out, Lungu does not inspire much, just like a Kambwili such that as a country we do not seem to have a credible ruler to look forward to. If Lungu wins, which is likely to happen in 2021, it will be because of the lack of a more credible alternative to him. He will do so by default!

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  11. One thing we all seem to agree on is we are not getting as much as we should from our cash cow (mines). This article is balanced and advances pertinent issues which HH & ECL need not ignore

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  12. To say an article is good or not good is the easiest of things to do.But it is better to go further and say which part and to what extent.
    When you carry out comparatives, mention, contextually what both parties said. Remember, we dealing with a cadre whose total contribution is the loudest AMEN!! Ati “Good Article”. That is mostly our undoing. No interrogation and deep thinking.

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  13. HH is not a problem and he should not be seen as such. The problem I see here is that most people think HH does not align himself well with the sufferers. That said, HH has been different in the manner he makes national pronouncement unlike most politicians who promise miracles. HH is definitely speaking from a business perspective which most politicians and fellow followers do not want to entertain. It is wishful thinking to totally ignore the plight of business and only about taxes. You cannot overtax the mines simply to think that you will solve your national problems. The PF should simply find ways to achive a win win business partnership with the mines, otherwise we will be the losers in the end.

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  14. The man has hit the nail on HH’s head. HH is an embarrassment to us Zambians. HH has lost it all . Thats why he is called an Under 5. He is so childish in politics as he can’t ready the country’s mood. I slowly started thinking of him as the alternative to Lungu but alas I was wrong. Who can vote for a person who is always against the interests of Zambians the people he wants vote for him?? Awe ba HH kuwayayafye.

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  15. Very good article, at least the writer is able to remind us the difference between HH and ECL….they are just one and the same……Let HH defend himself whether he is going to increase the mining taxes or reduce. For sure HH is good at being silent and he will be silent. UPND supporters, you are just following the party without analysing the direction the leader is heading to, try to understand the neo-colonialism… perhaps you have hope that he will change your lives, I’m sorry that can’t happen….it’s just like A lot had hope that PF will put A lot of money in their pockets……
    How many presidents has Zambia changed? A lot but what has changed to the Zambian citizen?

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  16. Mine acquisition and privatization should be blamed on its genesis than on HH and Lungu. There was no plan package in handing over mines from government to private hand. The privatization programme was fraught with greediness and corruption. The after effects of privatization are there for all to see. We left the process of privatization in the hands of crooks who went on a rampage of pilferage and mass stealing. The current woes in the mines are historical. Regimes will come and go, the same problems will continue perpetuating. The blame game will continue going on over and over again. We need leadership that will deal with historical problems and make things straight for the benefit of posterity. Otherwise,the mess that was created in privatization will take centuries to be rectified.

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  17. It’s funny that these so called intellectuals commit so many logical fallacies in their arguments. They are those times, we pretend you haven’t, then they are instances like this one were it’s hard to stay zee.
    To better understand people one needs to understand how they think and why they think that way.
    Ever since PF came to power its agenda has been to increase tax revenue through over taxing citizens and companies alike. When another citizen holds a different view then that individual is a lap dog of especially the mining sector which everyone assumes is under taxed. We all agree that the best way to increase revenue is to increase our tax base. Why can’t we increase our tax base?

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  18. ‘Hichilema struggled to provide a clear response and was frustratingly vague about what policies his government would implement in Zambia’s crucial economic sector. Apart from promising to revert to a VAT tax mechanism, he failed to outline what exactly is wrong with the PF’s approach to mining and what he would do differently.’

    This is where I also have a big problem with HH.Until HH starts speaking the language of a Positive Economist devoid of normative claims/statements,he will not convince me to vote for him.IF HH was an Economics professor,the Nobel Prize Committee on Economics will not even look at his scholarly articles for they do not have time for normative arguments.

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  19. HH is the most dull politician! He lacks strategies! Was surprised when I heard his stand on new mining tax regime! Is this an Economist or Crooknomics?

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  20. Am yet to listen to HH ‘s interview but I must say this article seems to highlight the current situation in Zambia on one end we have one of the most corrupt and incompetent leader so far with the likelihood of causing damage we will be repairing for the next 50 years and on the other end a man who makes us wonder if he is a traitor or our saviour but anyway since I have not really heard the interview I will not say much until I do listen to it & learn the reason HH would side with the mines

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    • never mind about listening to the interview, it was hh as usual, full of himself/ i know it all and i will fix it. if steven sucker can go home empty handed what about a lame and brook zambian journalist. kuwayawayafye

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  21. Wonderful analysis. For sure if the government wants to bring something on the table for the masses to eat then someone from the blues dispels what is needful, then what type of a human being can that be?

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  22. Tax them. Glencore Managers ( 5 of them ) earn more money than what Zambia will get from the mines in 10 years or more.

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  23. I would not describe HH as a lapdog but someone who is looking at the plight of the Zambian worker in these mines. So goverment raises taxes and goes against the agreement they had with these mine investors, the investors decide to shut down the mines who will suffer? Ofcourse all those thousands of miners and their families. Has our government got alternative employement for these miners? no they do not have. The government is failing to see the high unemployement in the country already and in their quest to get money into the treasurey they are deaf and blind to the tax payers of Zambia, so I believe HH has a foresight on things to come.

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    • What agreement did government sign with the mines. Some times it’s better to suffer as freemen than enjoy as slaves. The mines threatened redundancy but have u-turned so have you asked yourself why they have done that. It would appear you’re very disappointed to see the change of mind by the mines.

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  24. never mind about listening to the interview, it was hh as usual, full of himself/ i know it all and i will fix it. if steven sucker can go home empty handed what about a lame and brook zambian journalist. kuwayawayafye

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  25. Dr Sishuwa, so you are confirming what I have always said : that this boy has the uncanny habit of always shooting himself in the foot when it matters most. Just imagine, every Zambian (including the southerners whose good name he is continually tarnishing) is fighting for their economic rights and the boy is there openly pulling in the opposite direction! Opposing his own fellow citizens!
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  26. PF cadres you believe someone like this writer who is nowhere near a businessman giving opinion on something he is not good at. He is coming up with unproven fallacies, that seem sweet to the ear but analyse them and you will find out they cannot work. He can go ask HH than coming up with all these false analysis from his head. This is why we cannot develop believing nonsense from someone’s head when you can ask the person and get the right perspective than coming up with false narratives from your head

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    • But when he wrote anti PF articles you supported him to the hilt. I would humbly ask you to be principled if you want to be believed. How can the same guy become useless just because he’s asked questions which has put HH in a corner but you gave him credit when he wrote untruths against the PF.

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  27. Sishuwa actually asks questions we should all be asking of our leaders whether in opposition or incumbent. Can the UPND use this as an opportunity to clarify their mining policy and vision for this country. We are waiting!

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  28. My name is Edmore Tembo from kabwe ,holding a grade twelve certificates and psycholosocial counselling certificates. Am looking for a job has a psychosocial counsellor, shop keeper or waiters in hotel.My phone number is 0974138210 or 0961086195. Your consideration will be highly appreciated.

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  29. The answer is simple. …if the mines go ahead with the threatened redundancies, HH would capitalize on the situation and at the same time assure the retrenched miners that they would get their jobs back once voted in. But how long would the miners and how confident would that assurance be? Patriotism should take precedence over everything. Don’t burn the bridge after crossing the river.

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  30. HH can’t be a president of this nation.He supports investors who milk this country.The man is desparate.PF u have a too to use against HH.We the pipo are with u on new taxes.we can’t be subjected to this nonse—-se by HH.He should jst leave politics coz he will never win in Zambia.He is muzungu anikonde

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    • How could they pay tax to the owner of the company? ZCCM was owned by the government and government took what belonged it to. Your question is baseless and based on bitterness.

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  31. A fair comment. But more a favour to HH. Please ba HH see your political strategy through this article. It may sound hush in some parts but use it to develop your strategy, moving forward. Time is limited

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  32. This is the kind of analysis and debate we benefit from, the gentleman means business… Yes, what is the agenda behind such pronouncements of identifying oneself with the interest of someone who doesn’t want to give a fair share to the Zambian masses. Thank you very much Sishiwa for constructively raising the issue. Great piece of robust engagement.

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  33. GREAT ARTICLE Dr.SISHUWA, I agree with you on most of the issues you have but differ sightly on Mining taxation in the DRC: ” …Mining giants are truly global multinational corporations, and they can fairly easily move their operations in the direction of a country where production costs are cheaper, taxation rates are lower, and bribing of government officials is even easier (the Democratic of Republic Congo, for instance, would arguably fit all three of these criteria) – THE DRC RAISED ITS TAXES ON MINERALS IN SOME CASES BY 5 TIMES , CLASSIFIED SOME MINERALS AS STRATEGIC AND RAISED ROYALTIES ON MOST OF THE MINERALS.IN FACT OUT GOING DRC PRESIDENT KABILA HAD NEGOTIATED WITH CHINA AND SOUTH KOREA TO START PRODUCING SOME COMPONENTS FOR ELECTRIC CARS IN DRC!!

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  34. I hope that many UPND blind followers can do introspection like Shuwa Shuwa has done and remember that we dont just reject HH for nothing but that on many fronts, including the plight of mines in Zambia, HH is not real and does not represent the interests of Zambians he purports to. In my view, Shuwa Shuwa has demonstrated that HH is infact a very wrong person to even lead an opposition party. Its very clear that HH is a sponsored chap by tjose that want Zambians to live in perpetual poverty yet he comes out attacking President Lungu day and night. In 2021, HH must be demolished to the ashes.

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  35. Zambian politicians are funny. This MP who’s been playing cat and mouse about forming his political party was expelled from the PF along with a named councillor last week. But today he announces that he’s resigned from the PF. Also this soon to be former MP must go live on Radio instead of hiding behind recorded programs and avoid pertinent questions from people.

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  36. “..infectiveness of the Zambia Revenue Authority, low taxes, transfer pricing and poorly negotiated development agreements between mining companies and the government”
    “The mining companies have devised various methods for ensuring that most of the valueof the copper is collected by their shareholders and the company management, and very little goes to local workers or the Zambian government.”

    HH supports exploitation as he is selfish person. Look at Sanlam Life, Africa Life. They are resorting to transfer pricing in such a grand level that their capital is taken away every year, manifold of what they brought in as capital.
    Where is ZRA? Move into all his investment and impose K24 million penalties for every year of externalisation. Let him pay for his crafty ways.

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