We welcome Cabinet’s approval of the Reservation Schemes which will limit foreigners’ participation in live birds business at markets.
This is as it should be as it is in line with the Citizens Economic Empowerment law of 2006.
Selling of live birds on retail and wholesale basis at markets should be reserved for indigenous citizens who know Zambia’s traditional taste of a chicken better.
The entry of foreigners in the retail sale of live birds has brought in all sorts of suspicions on how the chickens are bred.
It must be understood that there have been insinuations that some of the chickens are being genetically grown when currently there is no law allowing such practice.
Zambians should be protected from some of the foods which do not meet the current national standards.
It is also gratifying that Cabinet has approved a Reservation Scheme on block making and quarrying.
With a country so starved of employment opportunities, it is important that foreign investors had a distant hand in the operations of such ventures so that locals take centre stage.
There are so many investment opportunities that foreigners can invest in but surely chicken and block making should not be on the list of investment opportunities.
In saying this, we are not supporting lazy Zambians to take up such ventures.
We are not even promoting substandard products to creep onto the local market.
All Zambians with an interest in venturing in live chicken rearing and their sale should be prepared to match the high standards that meet the market price.
It would be working against Government policy of empowering Zambians if the resultant measure would be laziness and production of substandard products on the market.
The catch phrase among Zambians should be products of ‘‘high quality’’ to encourage Government to identify more areas in which they can introduce Reservation Schemes.
It is surprising that Zambians have allowed themselves to be factors of production instead of owning the process.
Nowadays, it is not strange to see foreigners taking up the preparation of maize meal by people who least know how to prepare it, all in the name of investors.
And yet maize is grown abundantly in Zambia and there is a lot of manpower, both women and men, who can prepare the maize meal because the talent is inborn.
We applaud Government’s decision to restrict the live bird business as it shows that political leaders care about their citizens
Even if investors, both local and foreign, pump their money in areas of opportunities, there is supposed to be rules governing investment and the empowerment of the local people.