Antonio Mwanza

31st March, 2022


The decision by ZESCO to give foreign companies a huge contract to supply treated poles at the exclusion of local Zambian companies is a testament that the UPND Government cares more about foreigners than Zambians.

This is also an indictment that the UPND have no plan or intention to help support our own local Zambian companies to grow and enhance their ability to compete with foreign companies.

Further, the statement by the Minister of Energy, Hon. Peter Chibwe Kampala that it is not the strategic objective of ZESCO to create business for our people just goes to show how far detached the UPND leadership is to the difficult economic realities our people are actually going through on the ground. To them all is well kaili they are eating and enjoying free government resources.

ZESCO is one of the largest parastatals in Zambia and creating employment and business opportunities for Zambians must be one of its strategic objectives.

By giving huge contracts to foreigners, UPND is denying Zambians a chance to grow their businesses, create jobs and it is further externalising our hard earned foreign exchange to Zimbabwe and South Africa thus creating jobs and industries in those countries at the expense of Zambia.

How will the UPND Government manage to grow the economy, create jobs for the millions of the unemployed youths and create business opportunities for Zambians when they are giving huge contracts to foreign companies at the expense of Zambians?

ZESCO like all parastatals falls under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) which is under the influence and direct supervision of the Republican President, who is the Chairman of the board.

When in Opposition, President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema consistently pledged that all government businesses that can be done by local companies will be given to local Zambian companies but today he has negated that very promise just like he has done on many other promises that he made to the Zambians when he was seeking their vote.

Mr Kapala in his statement is insinuating that the foreign companies they have contracted are cheaper than our own local companies, in this regard we challenge the Minister to publish the estimated costs proposed by local suppliers as compared to what the prices foreign companies quoted (including delivery up-to Zambia) so that Zambians can do a comparative analysis of the cost implications and draw conclusions for themselves if indeed the foreign suppliers are cheaper.

In 2018, President Edgar Lungu commissioned a pole treatment plant along the Kalulushi-Sabina road on the Copperbelt to supply treated poles. This plant has a capacity to produce and supply up to 6000 poles per month. Besides, we have numerous local suppliers who have been supplying ZESCO with poles all along, why have they been excluded?

The UPND Government has refused to pay local suppliers and contractors their money; How are they going to create jobs when they are killing local companies and industries? How will our local companies and industries grow when they are being denied business and payments?

We beseech President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema and his IDC board to prevail over this matter and cancel the said contract and re-tender it and ensure that our own local businesses are given a fair share of the deal.

Mr President, your party slogan says ‘Zambia first’ but your actions are putting foreigners first, why? You have given foreign mining companies tax holidays but you are punishing your own people with high fuel prices, high electricity tariffs and high water bills when the money you are allowing the foreign mining companies to ship out of our economy through the tax holidays you have given them is the same money you could used to cushion the cost of fuel, electricity and water; this is the only way you can increase forex and reduce the cost of doing business thus reducing the cost of living for our people.

Issued by
Antonio M. Mwanza
PF Media Director


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