Revoking ban on Copper export duty, same contradictions of Sata – Fr. Bwalya

Fr. Bwalya

Fr. Bwalya

President Michael Sata’s order to revoke Statutory Instrument number 89 (SI 89) which lifted the 10 percent export duty on copper ore and concentrates is another sad reminder of the inconsistencies and contradictions of Patriotic Front party, Fr. Frank Bwalya has charged.

Fr. Bwalya who is opposition Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) said when Mr. Sata ordered the reversal of SI 89 this week on Monday he castigated Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Berlin Msiska and Commissioner of Customs Dingani Banda for misleading Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda.

“President Sata displayed anger and fumed in the similar manner he did when he lost the 2008 presidential election. He spoke with a passion that he was known for as an opposition leader,” Fr. Bwalya who campaigned for Mr. Sata in the previous elections said. “The reason for the anger and all the drama was that Zambia was going to lose income by allowing copper ore and concentrates to be exported tax-free.”

The ABZ leader states that this is the same Sata who has refused to reintroduced windfall tax contrary to PF election campaign promise.

“Moreover, Mr. Sata has defied calls by both local and international mining experts and other stakeholders including the Church and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to reintroduce windfall tax,” he said. “So Mr. Sata’s order to reverse SI 89 is a smoke screen and it is aimed at hoodwinking Zambians that he cares about loss of revenue from the mining industry.”

He adds: “The truth of the matter is that Mr. Sata and his PF party don’t care about the millions of dollars Zambia has been losing due to his refusal to reintroduce windfall tax.

It is an open secret that the money Zambia would have lost because of SI 89 would have been a drop in the ocean compared to the income our country has been losing due to Mr. Sata’s reckless position on windfall tax.”

Against this background, Fr. Bwalya says ABZ strongly believes that Mr. Sata doesn’t deserve any kudos for reversing SI 89. He says It just reminds his party of Mr. Sata’s inconsistency and contradiction on this subject.

“Moreover, we don’t believe that he didn’t know about it before it was signed,” Fr. Bwalya said. “Therefore, we challenge Mr. Sata to respond in the same way to the scandalous hemorrhage of cool revenue due to not reintroducing windfall tax.”

Fr. Bwalya says if his party forms government, it shall introduce windfall tax and other initiatives to ensure that the people get maximum benefit from the wasting asset of the mines.