By GIDEON NYENDWA
GOVERNMENT should not neglect the local contractors that have limited capacity but empower them to own equipment, Zambia Republican Party president, Wright Musoma has said.
Mr Musoma said the narrative being propelled by the UPND administration suggesting that giving Zambian contractors who do not have equipment, tenders was problematic was wrong.
Mr Musoma said that the policy that the previous government had put in place to empower local contractors was excellent because it showed that the party that was in power then was pro-poor and wanted to uplift the standards of the local people.
He said that even the biggest construction companies, AVIC International, may not have all the equipment and at times hire some of the machinery they use. What could stop a Zambian from doing the same when they get a contract? Mr Musoma said that the reason the policy was introduced was to empower Zambians so that they could raise money to buy their own equipment and some companies delivered their works very well and it was unfortunate that UPND wanted to scrap it off just like that.
He said the government’s proposal to do away with contractors they deem “don’t even own a shovel” proves that the UPND government was only for the rich.
“It pains to hear such a narrative,” he said.
Mr Musoma said that if all government entities stop giving contracts to Zambians on account that they do not have equipment that would mean that only foreigners will be getting contracts.
He said that taking such a stance by the government means that they were doing something that they do not understand or it may be a scheme of paying back their foreign masters who helped them to win the 2021 elections.
Mr Musoma said that there were a lot of highly qualified Zambians in different sectors who were doing a commendable job and denying them an opportunity to get contracts would mean sentencing them to perpetual poverty.