IT would have been catastrophic for Zambia if President Edgar Lungu did not revise the mineral loyalty regime, says Christian Democratic Party leader Dan Pule.
Dr Pule said thousands of Zambians would have lost jobs as a result of mining companies folding up.
He said President Lungu should be commended for making an intelligent decision to direct his Ministers of Finance and Mines to review the mineral loyalty system with the interest to protect mines from closing and loss of jobs.
“President Lungu is the first time he has been President and so far he has done the best he can to govern this nation. The issue of the reduction of the mining loyalty you have mentioned is an important one and it is part of management,
“ If you realise that you make a mistake you cannot insist of maintaining a mistake. That is party of management,” said Dr. Pule.
He said the PF Government under President Lungu had realised the mistakes made previously by the late President who hiked the mineral loyalties to unsustainable rates.
“President Lungu has realised that they had made mistakes by hiking the mineral loyalties to 20 per cent. They realised that it was a mistake and allowing that to continue, mining houses would have closed and Zambians could have lost jobs,” he said.
He said people criticizing him did not understand leadership, adding that the US$ 2.3 billion to be lost was much better compared to what would have been lost if the mines shut down as a result of maintaining the 20 per cent tax regime.
“Besides that, Zambians should understand that we are not an island and many of these mining companies have an opportunity to go and invest in other countries where the tax regime is more favourable,
“We know the problem that would have created, for your own information I was in the ministry of finance for a long time and I know what I am talking about and during that time we had to deal with firstly creating an enabling environment for investors to come and invest by attracting investment including the mines ,” he said.