22 November 2012

Zambia: UPND MP Calls for Opposition Indaba

UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Bweengwa Member of Parliament (MP) Highvie Hamududu has proposed that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and other opposition parties should hold an indaba to find sustainable solution on Zambia's growth prospects.

Mr Hamududu said this in Parliament on Tuesday evening when he contributed to the policy statement issued by Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfwa Mukanga ahead of debating the 2013 Budget allocation to the ministry.

He said time had come for politicians to put aside political interests and tailor a common solution to drive the economy in a sustained manner.

Mr Hamududu said value addition to mineral exports or increasing taxes in the mining sector were key to wealth creation and maximising the sector's full potential.

He said time was now for Africa and Zambia in particular to take full advantage of attractive metal prices on the global market to ensure tangible benefits from the mining sector.

"Can we stand together as leaders in this country and find a common solution before our minerals reach a peak of diminishing. This is a time for us whether in opposition or in the ruling party to hold an indaba and find a solution to our economy and the future of this country," Mr Hamududu said.

Zambia being a leading producer of copper in Africa, should explore meaningful ways to maximise profit from the extractive industry in view of the attractive prices on the world market.

MMD Liuwa MP Situmbeko Musokotwane appealed to Government to fully explore the mining sector to create jobs in the country.

Dr Musokotwane said quick solutions should be found to address the revival of mine operations such as the Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka.

UPND Mazabuka Central MP, Gary Nkombo also backed calls for a remedial measure to the Munali Nickel project to boost job creation in his area.

Malambo MMD MP Maxwell Mwale said the Ministry of Mines should carry out a geological mapping of minerals so that new investors did not spend much time on enquiries.

Mr Mwale said with the opening of new mines in North-Western Province, it was also important for the ministry to decentralise the mines and safety department to the new areas recording expanded mining activity.

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