Dr M’membe ‘sees’ beyond 2021
By Staff Reporter
Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe on Wednesday evening discussed the vision for the party in office beyond 2021.
In an interview with Muvi TV’s Innocent Phiri, Dr M’membe outlined the vision on a number of issues, which range from mining, agriculture, media and development.
Dr M’membe explained that there was need to start creating factories to manufacture agriculture equipment
“We have no choice but to start producing agriculture equipment. Those factories will employ all sorts of people. We need to engage in agro processing,” he said.
He said the Socialist Party was not just mobilizing people to vote, but also to plan for the governance of the country.
And Dr M’membe has assured that the Socialist Party would not nationalize the mines due to sensitivity and complexity of the industry.
“We are not going to nationalize the mines, it’s a complicated industry right now. We don’t have enough mining engineers, mineral scientists, we don’t even have mining economists in this country,” he said.
“We may just have to leave mines the way they are owned, and ensure that we collect fair taxes and pump those taxes in peasant agriculture, education and health”.
He explained that two thirds of the minerals deposits remained unexploited.
“Moreover, only one third of our mining potential is exploited, we still have two thirds to exploit. What we may need to do is what Chile did – they started sending more and more young people to study in the best universities on mining issues,” Dr M’membe said.
He said mining companies should be able fund such a government policy.
“Once we have developed enough capacity we can start exploiting the two thirds that is not yet exploited either with new or more beneficial joint ventures with others.”
He said Zambia’s situation required a complete shift in policy how to deal with mining issues.
“The mining industry is not so beneficial, but of course it’s not only copper that is there as a mineral in this country, we have other minerals that are cheaper to mine like manganese. We can form cooperatives to mine those, the state support in terms of capital, technology and marketing. So we will deal with mining in a different way,” he said.