WUSAKILE independent member of parliament Pavyuma Kalobo has advised mining companies that do not want to pay taxes to leave Zambia.
He said Zambians were not benefiting enough from the mining sector.
He said the mining sector had also failed to create employment for youths as well as pay all the cost reflective tariffs to the country.
During a News Diggers public forum held at Edinburgh Hotel on Thursday, Kalobo said fair taxes was what would help the country attain development and improve services such as health and education.
“All those mining companies that do not want to pay taxes should leave this country. They should go and we will remain to operate them and when they leave they should leave all the assets because the mining sector has failed to create employment for us Zambians. We need medicines in our hospitals and we need to improve our health system,” he said.
Kalobo said if Zambians continued to advocate or support mining companies to get lower taxes, they would not benefit from their mineral resources and there would be no viability in the mining sector.
He said higher taxes would also enable students in higher learning institutions such as Copperbelt University and University of Zambia access loans and complete education.
Kalobo said Zambians should not continue to suffer for the sake of impressing foreign investors.
He said while investors have been operating and making profits from the mines, they still complained that they were making losses.
“I have never heard of any mining union or the ministry requesting for miners’ salary increment or requesting for the re-employment of those that were retrenched following lower prices of copper,” he said. “Fair taxes are what will lead this country to having medicine in our country. Fair taxes will lead to students and youths in higher learning institutions to benefit from the student loans. So where are we going as Zambians if we continue to advocate lower taxes because we are attracting vulnerability when mines pay lower taxes. All youths and young ones still have nowhere to work from and Zambians are not benefiting from some mines….”
Change Mindset president Geoffrey Musonda told youths to start engaging in entrepreneurship as there were no jobs in the country.
Musonda said Zambia would only change and develop when citizens learned to do things on their own.
He said it was possible for Zambians to run the mines on their own if they just changed their mindset and work culture.
“My area of concern is joblessness. Let’s start doing things on our own, let’s take over of the mines because we have so many educated people in the country,” said Musonda.