I promised that I will comment on the interview that the President had whilst in Luapula on Hot FM. I apologize for the delay, I had some pressures to sort out.
I heard whole the interview which was done by one of our young entrepreneur, who, with his brother Zack Chavula, has brought novelty in radio broadcasting in Zambia, Oscar Chavula.
I must say that, the interview was one of the best by President Lungu. The President was calm, mature and realistic.
The President spoke more of issues than mere political rhetoric we usually hear from many politicians. Some of the points that I can remember are as follows:
The President insisted that,though he has power to bulldoze things as he wishes, he respects the law of rule and all the processes that are supposed to be followed in anything that has to be done.
In this regard he gave an example of Kawambwa Tea company which was repossessed by Govt due to the failure of the owners to run the company. The President said that, even though the company was repossessed by Govt processes had to be followed to secure the interests of the owners before Govt completely moves in to operate the it.
He said that he did not want to scare away investors by simply moving in without following the due processes which ensues that the owners are protected as well.
He observed that, the citizens would like the company to operate as soon as possible but he will not usurp the law.
The President said, it is lack of experience and ignorance that some of these opposition leaders make promises thinking they will come and do whatever they want, because laws and processes are there to be followed, unless one wants to be a dictator of which he did not want to be.
MINE TAX POLICY INCONSISTENCY
The President explained that, there is no policy inconsistency in the way PF is running Govt, rather his Govt is alive and sensitive to the changes in business environment as it pursues Tax collections.
The President said, his govt is always ready to engage the business community whenever there are challenges in business environment.
“For example, if the copper prices on the International market go down and the mines complain that, their sales have gone down and they are not making profit, or they come and say our production has gone down, rather than letting the mines close shop, you would have to consider Tax regimes that can allow them to operate”, explained the President.
“That is not policy inconsistence but being responsive to changes that may affect businesses and help them to survive. When things improve you can always go back to them and adjust upwards for Govt to get more” stated President Lungu.
The President propounded the PF agenda of changing the lives of Zambians in various ways. He spoke of how they (PF) want to improve the education sector which is why they have built a number of schools, he said the same thing in health and other sectors where infrastructure development is going on.
However the President emphasized the importance and benefit of roads which opens and connects various places in the Country for further development.
He said that no development can go to a place which is not accessible, hence the PF has embarked on massive road projects because that is what will facilitate development, which in turn will bring about jobs.
If people have jobs, they will have a good life because they would have an income to sustain their lives.
The President narrated how one medical Doctor appreciated the roads in Luapula because the roads where serving lives, as the ambulance and access to various health centers was easy with the good roads done by PF.
In talking about this, he recognised the efforts and dreams of the founder member Michael Chilufya Sata and pledged to continue on the same path of the PF agenda as did his predecessor.
But the President was quick to point out that, these things do not happen overnight as being suggested by some opposition leader that immediately he comes in, he will change things miraculously.
He warned voters to becareful in their political choices because some politicians are quick to make unrealistic promises. He plead to tell the Zambian people the truth.
“If something cannot be done immediately, tell the people to wait, other than saying, I will do it within a few days. I am not going to lie to people but I will tell them the truth” said the President.
In relation to The Post, the President said that, he is a promoter of media freedom and he does not want to close any media house on account of what they right even if it is biased against him.
He said that, if he did not respect media freedom, he would have closed some of the media houses, they very moment he came in as President but he has allowed them to continue (infact The Post is still printing and the papers are being sold on the market)
The President said the Tax issues should be separated from media freedoms and the companies that are owing Taxes, should just pay other than hiding in media freedoms.
Basically this is what I heard and can remember from that interview and I found it very interesting and good.
Next, I will tell you what is happening at the Tax tribunal relating to The Post.
I am also going to Kariba, though ZESCO has not been cooperative, for a fact finding mission on the water levels because my brother GBM said their is water in the Kariba when he appeared on Radio Phoenix the other day.
The Zambian Voice – Chilufya Tayali