United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia(UPPZ) President Charles Chanda has challenged Government to withdraw ZAFFICO shares from the Stock Market Exchange and look at ways how they will empower the parastatal firm workers who are direct beneficiaries.
And Mr Chanda has urged Zambians not to use the misfortune that has to be fallen ZAFFICO for political capital.
Mr Chanda said the people who are supposed to benefit from ZAFFFICO are its workers who have worked there for many years.
“I am saying that Government should with immediate effect withdrew ZAFFICO shares from the Stock Exchange and look at how they can empower citizens who are direct beneficiaries of the existence of ZAFFICO. We have sold enough of our wealth on the Copperbelt. We cannot allow a situation where institutions are taken over in that manner.
He said it is the prayer that no one uses the ZAFFICO debacle to advance their political fight against one another.
Mr Chanda said there is a need to speak for the poor, the beneficiaries on what will happen tomorrow if this is not controlled.
“I have a concern; we have a section of society, a section of citizens who have condemned the purported sale of ZAFFICO. Whether true or false, my worry is that those who are condemning Government (if at all ZAFFICO is sold), these are the same people who never added their voice, who never spoke when the mines were sold. How I wish those who are champions now, were champions than in considering the sale of mines. Those of us who are rushing to BBC, how I wish there was a rush to BBC when MMD was selling mines. Let us not be hypocritical, we should be sincere and honest. Let us not make political mileage out of the misfortune.
He said, on the other hand, Government is saying that it has listed the shares of ZAFFICO on the Stock Market Exchange which he said is just a smart but ugly way of handing over ZAFFICO to foreigners and in this the case the Chinese because they have shown interest.
“How many Zambians are buying shares? Go and check on the Stock Exchange, how many Zambians are interested in buying shares in ZAFFICO. Look at the beneficiaries of ZAFFICO, most of them are brothers and sisters who could not go far in education. Do they understand what a share is? What I was expecting Government to do was to ensure they expanded and ensured that citizens are empowered and become direct beneficiaries. That should start with workers of ZAFFICO. They have been there for many years. You want shares to be bought by foreigners who are going to demand the change of conditions. I am saying that the Government should with immediate effect withdrew ZAFFICO shares from the Stock Exchange and see how they can empower citizens who are direct beneficiaries of the existence of ZAFFICO. We have sold enough of our wealth on the Copperbelt. We cannot allow the situation where institutions are taken over in that manner,” he said.