By Dr. Canisius Banda-UPND Vice-president
ON BROKEN PROMISES and BAD GOVERNANCE [The Windfall Tax Lie/Scandal]: ‘In 2012 [in Zambia], the mining sector accounted for 80% of foreign exchange revenues and received close to USD 1 billion in FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] and yet contributed only 6% to total tax revenues…The World Bank, 2011, further points out that while taxes represent 3-5% of export revenues in Zambia, they range as high as 25-40% in the rest of the world…Prudent governance [transparency and accountability] that is devoid of corruption are important and [recommended] for Zambia…Weak governance has been evidenced repeatedly in Zambia.
During the privatization era, the development agreements gave investors disproportionate advantages in terms of tax revenues at the expense of Zambians. Similarly, the government has failed [including the PF] to institute windfall taxes inspite of the trebling of the price of copper between 2003 and 2007…Zambia must also take advantage of windfalls in copper prices if substantial fiscal revenues are to be generated for reinvestment in other sectors [for economic growth, expansion and diversification].
‘ Policy Brief, Policy Monitoring and Research Centre [PMRC], December 2013. Now, despite the PF [Zambia’s ruling party] having promised Zambians the Windfall Tax, Alexander Chikwanda, Zambia’s finance minister, brazenly and caustically called a lunatic anyone that continued to call for the introduction of this tax. This included his own cabinet colleague then Zambia’s commerce and industry minister Robert Sichinga. This is how lies [corruption] destroy a people, a nation. Today Zambia is broke, in addition to reckless public spending, partly because of such poor revenue collection mechanisms/policies and LIES. From this illustration, you can clearly see that the PF does NOT mean well for Zambia.