Former Secretary to Cabinet Dr Sketchley Sacika says government needs to conduct an audit to ascertain whether all foreigners working in Zambia are operating in legally, with valid work permits.

In an interview, Dr Sacika expressed concern that foreigners were dominating in many sectors.

He cautioned that foreigners’ unchecked infiltration into the country’s economy would eventually lead to possible State capture.

“Our press is awash with stories of foreigners at construction sites pushing wheelbarrows and doing jobs that should go to Zambians. Who has given these people work permits to work in Zambia? Our laws require that no foreigner shall be issued with a work permit to work in Zambia, unless there is no Zambian capable of doing the job for which a work permit is needed or there are special circumstances. These laws we made to protect Zambian workers. The Zambian government must as a matter of urgency carry out an audit to ascertain whether all the foreigners working in Zambia are here legally on valid work permits. For those who are not, the law must take its course,” Dr Sacika said.

“It is the responsibility of every government to protect its own citizens. Running a liberalized economy does not mean opening the door to whoever wants to come and work in Zambia to do so. Considerations of national interest and national security must prevail. As you know, the British are about to leave the European Union (on March 29, 2019) because they are unhappy with others coming to Britain to take up jobs that can be done by the British! So, why should the Zambian government allow foreigners to come to Zambia to do jobs that can be done by Zambians? We gave away our mines to foreigners and our economy is now dominated by foreigners and we are marching backwards to the pre-Independence days when Zambians were drawers of water for the foreigners.”

He also expressed concern that foreigners would take total control of government if their rapid infiltration in the country’s economy was not regulated.

“If foreigners dominate our economy, they will also control our government! We will have a puppet President, puppet ministers, who will be there to serve the interests of the foreigners and not the interests of the people who elected them. If you look around, you will see that this is already happening,” observed Dr Sacika.