FORMER Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo says Zambia has inconsistent mining policies.
Speaking at the on-going Africa Mining indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, Obasanjo, who is also Brenthurst Foundation chairperson, said Zambia’s mining policies were unpredictable.
“Zambia has inconsistent mining policies,” Obasanjo said according to a statement issued by Zambia’s High Commission in South Africa first secretary press and public relations Naomi Nyawali.
But Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba dismissed Obasanjo’s statement, saying Zambia’s mining policy had undergone revision to ensure that it responds to the needs and aspirations of its people for the benefit of the country and local communities.
He described Obasanjo’s statement as divisive, untrue and urged him to refrain from making such statements as he was a prominent African leader.
“Zambia takes great exception to remarks by president Obasanjo, who is speaking in his capacity as chairperson of Brenthurst foundation. The foundation which president Obasanjo is representing is known to actively engage in negative agenda against Zambia,” High Commissioner Mwamba said.
And High Commisssioner Mwamba said Zambia’s economic performance remained impressive and that the country was implementing, through the Ministry of Finance, a medium-term debt strategy to resolve concerns around the country’s public debt.
He said the Medium Term Debt Strategy (2017-2019), which was developed by the Ministry of Finance, would serve as an important tool in guiding decision making with regard to prudent debt management.
High Commissioner Mwamba said Zambia was keen to attain the target of being a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030.
He the international rating agency, Moody’s, had since upgraded Zambia’s rating from negative to stable.
“Moody’s stated that this was due to reduced government liquidity pressures and a slowdown in debt accumulation,” said High Commissioner Mwamba who added that President Edgar Lungu had guided the public service to ensure that labour intensive options were taken into account in the implementation of the economic diversification drive.
Zambia is currently among countries that are participating at the on-going Africa Mining Indaba that has attracted 220 mining companies and 350 investors and government leaders from across the world.
Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma is leading a delegation of senior government officials and chief executives from the mining sector in Zambia, who includes deputy secretary to Cabinet Christopher Mvunga, ZCCM-IH chief executive officer Dr Pius Kasolo and High Commissioner Mwamba, among others.