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Foreigners told to keep away from block making, chicken rearing

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

FOREIGN investors are not allowed to venture into block making and chicken rearing businesses because these are reserved for locals only, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise, Elias Mubanga, has said.

And Mr Mubanga has clarified that accessing Government empowerment funds did not demand for one to be a member of the ruling party, but accessible to all Zambian in cooperatives.

Mr Mubanga urged skilled Zambians to organise themselves by forming cooperatives and take up domestic businesses and works done by some “foreign investors.”

The minister said this in Lusaka yesterday when he officiated at a training session for community capacity building to create and manage cooperatives as social enterprises. He however challenged Zambians to take charge of some domestic businesses such as block making, rearing chickens and selling of second hand clothes by forming cooperatives.

Mr Mubanga called on carpenters, bricklayers, drivers and others to form cooperatives as a way to fill up businesses and works done by foreigners at the expense of the locals.

“I want to be very frank with you. We need to be very honest with each other. Some of the jobs and businesses being done in this country by our friends coming from outside are supposed to be done by Zambians. I am not trying to say something that should scare someone, but I want to be very factual. For example, block making is supposed to be done by Zambians,” Mr Mubanga said. 

He added, “I will not allow somebody to come from outside to come rear chickens. We appreciate business done by our friends from outside, but they have to do things that we cannot do ourselves. But block making and rearing of chickens should be for Zambians only.”

He said it was his and President Hakainde Hichilema’s desire to see that Zambians take charge of small businesses to grow the economy.

When foreign investors come, he said, we encourage joint ventures. In all business activities, we are encouraging Zambians to partner with our friends from outside.

Mr Mubanga reiterated that his ministry was created to enable Zambians take part in developing the nation through cooperatives.

Meanwhile, Mr Mubanga said every Zambian regardless of political affiliation was eligible to access empowerment funds, as long as they formed cooperatives.

“The new dawn government is not leaving anyone behind in terms of development. If you are UPND, PF, NAREP you are all welcome to take part in national development, as long as you have a brilliant idea. We will give you an opportunity so that you create employment for our people,’ he said.

Mr Mubanga said the ministry shall facilitate support and create avenues for social entrepreneurs to add value to the abundant natural resources for creating employment, wealth and foster economic growth.

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