By BENNIE MUNDANDO
GOVERNMENT should not buckle under pressure by mining firms that have regrouped to compel it to backtrack on implementing the sales tax regime, Edward Mumbi has said.
Mr Mumbi said mining firms have regrouped and were trying to put pressure on government to forego the sales tax by laying off miners in huge numbers.
Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Mumbi, who is a development activist, said the decision by some mining firms to lay off workers must never be treated as an isolated incidences but coordinated actions to wage a final blow at Government.
He however urged the government to remain resolute and revert to the Value Added Tax (VAT) which mining companies had been agitating for because they were using it as a loophole for evading tax using under-declaration manoevers.
He said Government must never shy away from asking those companies which had failed to run the mines to leave and allow serious investors who were ready to adhere to the country’s laws to takeover.
“Is not strange. World over, an investor has to adhere to local laws and conditions set in their lease or contract of purchase. An investor does not come and change the laws no matter how much pressure they exert on the government.
“We should speak to documents that we have and as a country, we must not shy away from saying if you are tired as an investor, go back home.
“These mining firms can still be acquired by investors who are interested to partner with government and Zambians and see the economy grow,” Mr. Mumbi said.
And Mr. Mumbi has taken a swipe at the UPND saying its sentiments on the economy were responsible for mining companies’ defiance and insolence.
“We have a situation where parties like the UPND are going to South Africa and start telling investors to shy away from the Zambian economy because it is worse than that of Zimbabwe. How do you explain a situation where
an opposition leader like the secretary general of the UPND quoted in South Africa saying our economy is worse than that of Zimbabwe? We all know what happened in Zimbabwe and comparing it to Zambia is scaring investors who end up making demands that are wild.
“All this nonsense that investors are talking about is coming from political parties like the UPND. We have never seen opposition political parties like the EFF coming to Zambia to de-campaign their economy,” he said.