Dr Haglund and many other commentators have no direct interest in the politics of Zambia. They base their recommendations on evidence. Ironically, even institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which in the past were the usual scapegoats for policy inertia, are now all loudly criticising Zambia’s mining tax policy.
Despite all this criticism, Rupiah Banda’s MMD government is unmoved. After all, his focus and that of his government officials is on self aggrandisement and not to serve the people of Zambia. Rupiah and his friends are benefitting from mining because the mining corporations give them all sorts of personal favours – they bankroll their election campaigns. For this, they are ready to sell the taxes that are due to our people. This is criminal. This is corruption. This is what happens to a country when greed and selfishness reign supreme.
From today's Post Editorial on Mining Tax Policy, which touches on Dan Haglund's recently research on mining policy in Zambia - see his guest blog Policy Evolution in the Zambian sector. The notion of "lobbying" as backdoor capture is something we will discuss in more detail in our monthly Leading Voice essay for May. The other issue of campaign finance we have touched on - see the post At The Mercy of Business. There's a clear need to introduce stronger campaign finance reform. This does not require a constitutional amendment. A new bill can be passed like yesterday that would remove external capture by big business and foreign governments. Politicians unfortunately will not push for these reforms for reasons suggested by the Post. So individuals must agitate for them. On a related point, we preparing another short essay "debunking the case for political funding" which will also touch on this issue, though from a different angle. We want reform in campaign finance, but that should be about rules not public funding which wastes the little money we have. Worth looking out for those two essays!