Vice-President Guy Scott has rejected claims that the government of the southern African state is “antibusiness”, saying it wants to clean up business practices and collect its fair share of tax from companies operating there.
Scott was addressing concerns about Zambia’s policy towards foreign business after a number of investments were reversed and cancelled by President Michael Sata’s administration.
Since coming to power in 2011, Sata has scuppered deals such as the acquisition of Finance Bank of Zambia by FirstRand unit First National Bank (FNB) for $5.5m.
The expulsion of foreign business people and investors in recent months also raised concern over the Zambian government’s stance towards foreign investors.
Asked whether the door was now closed to FirstRand in Zambia, Mr Scott told Business Day on Thursday that FirstRand was welcome, provided its conduct was fair.
“That’s a matter for the private sector to work out among itself. I don’t think there’s any door closed on FirstRand to come into Zambia to do business. It’s the actual takeover for $5m only on the asset of Finance Bank…. I would imagine the door is closed on that,” Mr Scott said.
FNB last year opened a branch in Makeni, a suburb of the capital, Lusaka. FNB aims to open three new