Chikwanda must resign

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda must resign on moral grounds for calling Zambians who advocated for the re-introduction of windfall tax lunatics.

Former special assistant to the president policy and project implementation and monitoring in president Levy Mwanawasa administration, Jack Kalala said that if Mr. Chikwanda did not resign, then President Michael Sata should consider sacking him.

And  Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has ruled out any idea of nationalization of Konkola Copper Mines following revelations Vedanta Resources owner mocked Zambia over the profits he was earning from the copper mine.

Mr Yaluma has also maintained that the PF government had no intentions of reintroducing the windfall tax.

Mr Yaluma has however said Konkola Copper Mines did not comply with its commitment to inject US$307 million into Konkola Copper Mine as foreign direct investment, Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma has revealed.

But the MMD has accused the PF of having allowed the scandalous mega profit reap by Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines stating that government should therefore take full responsibility for the depressing revelations without passing the buck to other actors.

“The PF government is currently firmly in its third year of governance and should therefore begin to take full responsibility for every aspect of the Governance structure of our country. Passing the buck or blaming other actors for their lack of competency is not going to resolve the numerous problems facing this country.” Dr Mumba said in a statement.

However, Mr Kalala said that if President Sata would not dismiss his Mr Chikwanda, then Zambians should rise against the Finance Minister because he had insulted those advocating for windfall tax as lunatics. He said that he had decided to challenge Mr. Chikwanda to state why he described Zambians who were demanding for the re-introduction of the windfall tax as lunatics while Anil Agarwal owner of KCM was making supper normal profits.

Mr. Kalala in defending Mwanawasa legacy during a press briefing held at Longacres Lodge said that the Mwanawasa’s administration took an economic decision to sell out Konkola Copper Mine at US$25 million because the company was not viable at the time.

He said that he has decided to speak out because he was unhappy to see high levels of poverty Zambians were subjected to because of failure by previous and the current leadership to address the windfall tax.

“Instead of condemning Agarwal, let’s reflect. For me I would say that Zambians are sleeping and the owner of Vedanta is a God sent saint to open our eyes. He is a whistle blower and we have to thank him because I feel that God has used him,” said Mr. Kalala.

And  Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has ruled out any idea of nationalization of Konkola Copper Mines following revelations Vedanta Resources owner mocked Zambia over the profits he was earning from the copper mine.

Addressing the media and Action Aid members yesterday at the ministry, Mr. Yaluma said that there was poor corporate governance where KCM had parallel management structures.

“These problems I have highlighted could be attributed to non compliance to the commitment to bring in foreign direct investment. Surely Vedanta Resources PLC has up to date not complied with its commitment to inject US$397 million into KCM as foreign direct investment. Instead funds generated within KCM that in a normal operation would be used for operations were diverted to finance capital projects,” said Mr. Yaluma.

But the MMD has accused the PF of having allowed the scandalous mega profit reap by Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines stating that government should therefore take full responsibility for the depressing revelations without passing the buck to other actors.

Dr Mumba reminded the PF government that they had promised Zambians an immediate up scaling of revenue from the mining sector and this was expected to be done through the introduction of a Windfall Tax.

Dr Mumba said in the three years that President Michael Sata and the PF government have been in power, they had failed to honour any of the promises they made including the introduction of the windfall tax.  He said the MMD was of the view that PF’s lack of capacity to collect appropriate taxes remains the ruling party’s scandal which had caused great lamentations by the ordinary mining worker.

 

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