By Henry Mando
The Investor Community have been shaken by the manner the PF government has been going about reposessing companies under the pretext of fighting corruption. Whilst the fight against corruption is welcome, the manner it is being handled raised a number of question. Firstly, it seems most business transactions concluded by previous governments are not being submitted through the duly accepted legal process. Instead what we see are guilty pronouncements on corruption made at Swearing in ceremonies.
Secondly, the Sata Government appears to have extended it scope of repossessions beyond transactions concluded during the Rupiah Banda reign. The case of the Railway Systems of Zambia shows that the PF wants to thorougly investigate the policies of late President Levy Mwanawasa. Its begs the question – Is PF determined to tarnish the Mwanawasa legacy when the man is resting in peace. It remains to be seen how far they will go in their agenda.
Thirdly, the PF through its actions has annoyed many governments whose companies such investments. The Libyans are not amused over Zamtel, The Dutch may reduce economic cooperation with Zambia if PF continues in his quest to reverse the legitimately concluded Zanaco deal. We remain to see how the Isrealies will respond to the PFs actions on RSZ.
Arising from the above observations, independent analysts are of the view that its just a matter of time before Michael Sata starts moving on repossessing the mines. The PF was very vocal whilst in opposition and their appetite to return assets to Zambia is very huge.
One can even conclude that the strong friendship with President Robert Mugabe is for Zambia to draw lessons on how to deal with the exploitative former colonialists in our economy. Will this new PF policy of selective nationalisation benefit the country or will Zambia join Zimbabwe in witnessing a downturn in its economy.