Party of National Unity (PNU) leader Highvie Hamududu says he supports the idea that parastatal companies should not be fully owned by government, as doing so gives room for abuse.
Commenting on government decision to partner with an investor in the management and operations of Indeni Petroleum Refinery, Hamududu, the former UPND Bwengwa member of parliament told News Diggers! in an interview that the private sector component in parastatals promoted sound management, as long as investors were not given majority stake.
“We are not very comfortable with parastatals being full owned by government. We believe in partial parastatals where the private sector is involved. It brings efficiency. The general line from the management point of view is that most parastatals must have a private sector component. That is what Botswana has done. You go to the Diamond mining company, its 50-50, government and the private sector and they have been mining diamond for a long time. So if they are inviting a private investor to work with the government, I have no problem with that,” Hamududu said.
“So parastatals that are fully owned by government are subject to abuse and it has happened right from the time when we nationalised our companies. We must be in-between and we must not completely give away the ownership of our companies. Government must not completely give away the parastatals and also the private sector must also bring in principles of sound management, then we will have a viable parastatals. That is what we are saying even for Zamtel that they should leave some space to the private sector. What Mwanawasa did to Zanaco was a correct thing, we might not agree with the shareholding where too much was given to the private sector but if it was 50-50, that is good.”
He said it was important for government to bring in US$600 million into the economy from the sale of Indeni.
“I don’t agree with the UNIP style where government owned 100 percent. We want a balanced approach, and that will also bring in money in the country, we need dollars now. If a private company transparently brings in US$600 million in the economy, that is good for the economy I can tell you,” said Hamududu.