WE must develop internal capacity for national development plans and investments that promote Zambians first, not foreigners, says Daniel Shimunza.
Shimunza, founding president of the Movement for National Transformation, says the development agenda of the PF lacks a Zambian face.
He said the provincial expos being held in the country are exploitative and should be banned.
So far, Luapula and Central provinces have held investment expos while Copperbelt is expected to host one in June 2019.
But Shimunza in a statement noted that PF organised expos were premature and counterproductive.
“An expo is a large public exhibition for purposes of showing the invited such things as investment opportunities, economic possibilities, and value in a particular place for economic benefits. Going by this definition, we have seen the Patriotic Front, PF, led government do various expos around the country. The premature and unprogressive expos are counterproductive to sustainable development, and economic transformation and growth because they favour foreigners, not the citizenry. They are outward looking, not inward looking, to create sovereign capacity for National Development,” Shimunza stated.
“However, as Movement for National Transformation, MNT, we advise that these exhibitions must be banned because we are exposing our treasures to wrong investors to our disadvantage, and exploitative foreigners. We must develop internal capacity for National Development Plans, and investments that promote Zambians first, not foreigners. What is wrong with the PF government model of Foreign Direct Investments?”
Shimunza stated that the lives of local people had not improved while foreigners were benefiting.
“Firstly, it [PF] assumes that all development must be driven by foreigners like the Chinese, South Africans, Arabians, the Turks, and others at the expense of Zambians themselves. It lacks a Zambian face. These exposures of what we have, have attracted investors who are exploiting our lack of innovation and sovereign will to build capacity for economic development and sustainable growth,” Shimunza stated. “Sometimes what we need from foreigners is just technology transfer, skills transfer, and industrialisation agenda, but incentivise our human resource development. Secondly, the quality of life of the Zambian people has not improved since 2011 yet foreigners are benefiting from our economy. Copper is going out, other minerals are also going out. All major sectors are not improving the quality of life of the citizenry, but foreigners such as multinational corporations. This is not wise and prudent for any reasonable government.”
Shimunza stated that it was wrong to expose national assets to those who were not worthy the value.
“They will take advantage of your weaknesses, and loot your most valuable wealth. Imprudent exposure of our national treasures to men of Babylon like King Hezekiah in biblical history of Israel, cost them captivity, as seen in 2 Kings 20:12-21. Zambia is now in captivity to foreigners who we have exposed our weaknesses to by corrupt deals. We must quickly redress this undue exposure of our best natural resources to wrong investors who exploit us, and deny our people economic benefits,” Shumunza stated. “Let it be put on record that we have said this that in future, posterity will not mention our names that we tolerated this wanton exposure of our national wealth to exploitative foreign direct investment models. As MNT, we want accountability, transparency, and good governance in the manner government is exposing our wealth to would be investors. Therefore, we advise the PF government, to reconsider the path they have taken of ‘twining our provinces with China for begging purposes’. They must also stop all unplanned expos that will not advance the best interests of our people, and economic growth for Zambians.”