Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says it is key for investors and government to find a proper communication strategy to avoid acrimony.
And Kampyongo has assured investors that government would continue creating an enabling environment and ensure that their investments are safe amidst the ongoing sporadic social unrest in some parts of the country.
Speaking when he toured First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Sentinel Open Pit Mine in Kalumbila District, North-Western Province, Kampyongo said it was safer to avoid conflicts than to deal with them.
“The Ministry’s role, apart from facilitating for investment permits, is also ensuring that we facilitate for you as investors to have necessary expertise that you need from across the world. It is our responsibility to ensure that investment, huge as it is, is protected, in terms of security, and also that investors are equally protected. With that said, we need to have a mutual solid consensus at all times in terms of us facilitating your requirements just as we also want you to meet certain obligations as government. I didn’t feel well for the losses you suffered as a result of the strike and these are things that we encourage investors to avoid because it is very key to find a proper communication strategy; it is important that we avoid acrimony and you can imagine the equipment that was sabotaged and the losses that culminated from there. We want to ensure that we avoid conflicts because it is safer to avoid conflict that deal with conflict itself,” Kampyongo advised.
“I am encouraged to see a reasonable number of Zambian managers because when we are saying ‘Zambianisation,’ it is not a policy that we want to impose, it’s a policy that we feel will facilitate investment because we feel if you have local citizens taking part, assuming ownership, I feel the ownership of the gentlemen that were making presentations…part of the projects, they are theirs, it’s not just the investor. And that is what we want to see. These graduates that have been developed into productive human resource capital is exactly the desire of government. So, my Ministry is emphasizing that yes, as we get the expertise from across the continent, let’s ensure there’s also skills transfer from those experts that are coming to our own Zambian human resource.”
He assured that the government would guarantee safety of the investors and their investments while in Zambia.
“So, it is just to assure you that even as you hear few spots of insecurity threats, we are here to make sure that we create an safe environment and you shouldn’t feel a sense of threats as our investors; that’s my coming, as assigned by the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu himself. I can only hope that we engage in honest, sincere and open discussions so that the few discussions we have had in the past could be put behind and focus more on growing the project,” said Kampyongo.