PRESIDENT HICHILEMA’S MINING LICENSE DIRECTIVE DOUBTED WITHOUT EMPOWERMENT PLAN FOR ZAMBIANS
By Balewa Zyuulu
The opposition People’s Alliance for Change has expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of President Hakainde Hichilema’s directive to restrict the sale of mining licenses to foreign nationals without a comprehensive program to empower Zambians that own mining licenses.
On Thursday this week, while addressing permanent secretaries, President Hichilema issued a directive aimed at ensuring that Zambians who hold mining licenses exclusively sell them to fellow citizens and not foreign nationals.
However, party president Andyford Banda tells Phoenix News that although this may be well intended; allowing only Zambians to purchase mining licenses could fall short of achieving its intended purpose if adequate measures are not taken to build the capacity of local entrepreneurs in the mining sector.
Mr Banda also believes that the restriction alone may not yield the desired economic impact if government fails to implement a targeted program of providing adequate training, financial support and technical assistance to those holding mining licenses.