PRESIDENT Michael Sata has appointed FDD leader, Edith Nawakwi to ensure that the locals in Nakonde and Isoka constituencies scrutinise the over $450 million investment in the bio-fuel enterprise, Kaidi Biomass, so that it fully benefits them.
Addressing government officials and chiefs’ representatives in the area on Sunday evening, Nawakwi is qouted by the PF compromised Post newspaper as saying there was need to work with foreign investors who meant well for Zambia’s economy in order to record growth.
“I am not here as Edith Nawakwi your daughter, but because His Excellency the President Michael Chilufya Sata had a meeting with a delegation from China… and decided that he wanted to have me here. It’s from the horse’s mouth,” Nawakwi said. “You need to understand that this company seems to be unique.
The Chinese companies we have had are either in mining, trading, or they want to be on the tarmac. But the singular honour to Kaidi is that they want to partner with the villagers in a project that we understand that it will be environmentally friendly and will create jobs in the villages.”
Nawakwi assured that land would still remain for the locals as it was going to be leased.
“They are not going to own the land. They want to rent and I think that is a very good development where they say they want to rent because if they decided that they want to leave, the land will still be ours because they simply paid us the rent for land,” said Nawakwi.
Nawakwi said it was impossible for the country to have two presidents, hence the need for all the opposition leaders to support the sitting president for economic development to take place.
And Kaidi International president Chen Yisheng said most areas of Zambia had no electricity or water, which needed to be addressed.
“Most of the places in Zambia have not been explored and the land is very vast. So we want to bring development in the country through technical and financial aspects, through provision of resources for development,” said Chen.
The bio-fuel company is also expected to invest huge sums of money across the country in its long-term plan.
The project has been in the pipeline for the last four years, but President Sata has instructed that there was need to get chiefs Waitwika and Katyetye and other stakeholders to ensure that it was not bulldozed by the government.
The project is expected to take up about 78,000 hectares of land in the two districts.
The project is aimed at empowering local farmers through the company buying local by-products of maize, cassava and soya beans.
The company has pledged to employ over 5,000 locals through its operations.