Economist Noel Nkhoma says the PF regime’s intentions to grab majority shares in mines amounts to nationalisation.
Earlier, president Edgar Lungu said government must build majority stakes in selected mines to benefit from its mineral wealth beyond taxes.
Lungu said this on Thursday when he launched what he calls ‘an economic recovery plan’ after the country defaulted on a debt payment last month.
“Owning a stake in some strategic mines gives the state the leverage required to utilise the defined mineral resources to benefit the nation,” Lungu said.
“I must mention that this is not nationalisation of the mines, on the contrary, it is the state acquiring majority stakes in selected mines while allowing private investors to also participate in the sector,” he added.
But Nkhoma explained this is exactly what nationalisation is. He says as majority shareholders, government will have to find money to run the mines but wondered where a country failing to pay its debts will get money from to recapitalise the mines.