COPPERBELT MINE SUPPLIERS AND CONTRACTORS THROW WEIGHT BEHIND- HH
THE Copperbelt Mine Suppliers and Contractors Association says it is shifting its support from the ruling Patriotic Front to the United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Association President Bwalya Mufonka told a media briefing in Lusaka today that the dire economic straits the region has found itself due to poor economic management by the PF has forced mine suppliers and contractors to do everything it takes to turn the region into a UPND stronghold.
And President Hakainde Hichilema said all contracts in the mines will be given to Zambian companies and Zambians during the UPND’s time office.
He said this will be supported by legislation that will be put in place by his government.
“I am a concerned businessman, my friends have asked me to come and represent them. Behind us are 10,000 small and medium-sized enterprises on the Copperbelt and North Western province,” said Mr Mufonka.
“I am not here to seek a political position but we want the party to use us as an annex into government like the PF used us in 2011.”
“I am here to build a relationship between the Copperbelt business community and the UPND.
We want you to enact laws that will protect local businesses. When you are in office, we dont expect anyone who is a PF member to lose business or contracts simply because they are PF,” said Mr Mufonka.
He said his association will make sure it raises resources to help grow the party on the Copperbelt adding that “I have put myself on the chopping board by coming out publicly to support Hakainde Hichilema.”
“I know this will bring a lot of problems because of my stance but I thought it’s better we are on the right side of history,” said Mr Mufonka.
Mr Hichilema said once in office his government will put in measures that will benefit local mine suppliers and contractors.
“It will be law under the UPND that mines should be supplied by Zambian companies and Zambians. Under extractive industries, all licences will be issued to Zambians and Zambians alone. Foreign companies and individuals will come in to as partners to finance the projects,” he said.
“Tell your friends and the jerabos that they shouldn’t prepare to attack HH when they hear he is coming. I am their friend and we are coming in to improve the way they do their business.”
*(C) UPND MEDIA TEAM*