LOCAL Government Minister Vincent Mwale says a committee of ministers on investment is to be established in order to discuss in detail the usage of investment licenses.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Mwale says there is need to ensure that businesses such as restaurants, saloons, car wash, among others are not taken over by foreign investors.
Mr. Mwale explained that such business opportunities can be operated by local people adding that government is committed to continue empowering local investors.
The Local Government Minister who is also Chipangali Lawmaker clarified that under the investment act an investor can only be classified as a foreign investor if they bring in the country not less than Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand (250 000) US Dollars worth of investment.
“As local government we want to play our part, we know that the other part should be played by the ministry of home affairs in that some of this people doing small businesses like barbershops and saloons; and claiming to be investor may not even have permits to work as beauticians but are taking the much needed jobs for our people” he added.
Mr. Mwale has called for cooperation from all sectors that are involved to work together and ensure that foreigners are not taking over businesses which can be done by Zambians in the pretext of being investors.
Meanwhile, a local entrepreneur Gift Sangaya has welcomed the move to regulate foreign investors.
Mr. Sangaya who also operates a line of car wash businesses in Lusaka’s Kabwata Township said it is unfortunate that Chinese Nationals and other foreign investors are being given licenses to operate businesses meant for small scale entrepreneurs.
“Small business communities have suffered at the hands of foreigners claiming to be investors; it has really negatively affected us because we do not have the machinery to compete with the foreigners” He lamented.
He added that allowing foreign investors to compete with locals who are operating businesses like barbershops and car wash to survive is unfair and does not support a favorable environment for investment growth by the local Zambians.
Mr. Sangaya has since called for a quick government intervention by coming up with policies and strategies to strict foreign investors from taking over small business ventures.
“We also hope the policy announcements coming from local government will be implemented and enforced by the law, this in turn will ensure that the local entrepreneurs are empowered and operate in a favorable environment” he added.
Recently, local government minister Vincent Mwale directed Lusaka city council to stop issuing licenses to Chinese nationals operating in small businesses.
Smart Kalaluka is a professional communication specialist with proficiency in communication planning, crisis communication, public relations, broadcast journalism, marketing as well as digital marketing. Kalaluka is a fourth year student at the University of Zambia pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication and media studies, with Development Studies as a minor. He has Certificates in Online Publication from B360 education partnerships of Switzerland, Gender Responsive Public Service from MS-Training Centre for Development Co-operation of Arusha, Tanzania, Certificate in Free and Fair Election Reporting awarded by MISA Zambia, a certificate in Photojournalism from B360 education partnerships of Switzerland and a certificate in Climate Change Advocacy awarded by UNICEF Zambia. Kalaluka has worked as a Public Relations Officer at TopStar Communication Company Limited. A joint venture company created by the Zambian government between the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and Africa’s leading digital TV operator StarTimes of China with a sole mandate of implementing the digital migration project in Zambia. As a public relations officer he was involved in planning publicity strategies and campaigns, writing and producing presentations and press releases, dealing with enquiries from the public, the press, and related organisations, organising and attending promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits, speaking publicly at interviews, press conferences and presentations, providing clients with information about new promotional opportunities and also analysing media coverage He has also worked as a Radio Reporter, Producer and Presenter at Radio Christian Voice as a reporter, He was involved in research, scripting and producing various programmes. Some of his responsibilities included gathering, writing, editing and casting news. Previously, he was presenter, Senior Reporter and Producer at Itezhi Tezhi radio station his responsibilities included gathering, writing and casting news as well as planning, designing and implementing radio programs on various topics. Worked as a Volunteer at Unite for Climate Project funded by UNICEF Zambia as a lead Climate Ambassador for Itezhi Tezhi District as a lead ambassador he was in charge of coordinating and supervising environmental clubs, working with the department of forestry on various environmental programs and advocating on climate change issues. He is a good governance advocate and passionate about issues of climate change. He is a gender based violence and human rights activists. He enjoys teaching and discussing subjects around leadership and good governance and entrepreneurship. He enjoys reading motivation books, and listening to old Zambian and African music.