How is govt spending copper money?

Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Nkole Chishimba has demanded that government should publish how revenue from the mining industry was being used as a way of promoting transparency and accountability.

Mr Chishimba who was speaking yesterday at Katilungu house in Kitwe during the First Supreme Council meeting which was attended by Deputy Labour minister Rayford Mbulu and Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) Leonard Hikaumba said there was need for transparency in the manner government spent revenues to ensure the best use was attained.

“Am happy to report to this August house that MUZ is an active member of the EITI whose principles are to enable mining companies to publish what they pay to the government, and also compel government to publish how the said government used the money.

Mr Chishimba said MUZ was a member of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) whose principles were to enable mining companies to publish what they pay to the government and also compel government to publish how the said revenue was being used. “As MUZ, we hope that the EITI bill will soon become law so that we deepen transparency and accountability in the extractive industry, “Mr Chishimba said.

Mr Chishimba has also said problems at KCM have not only been difficult to deal with, but also most time wasting and very costly to the union regarding travel and lodging expenses during numerous trips of interaction with government officials especially at the ministry of labour. The MUZ Chief said the threatened job security at KCM where the mining company threatened to fire 2,000 miners as well as difficult to conclude negotiations across the country were some of the heavy challenges and turbulence that the union had faced from the last supreme council.

“Between the last normal supreme council meeting and this one, numerous events and activities have taken place both in the union and outside which have influenced the direction of our focus as well as our day to day administration of our union.

“While the union scored some successes, in terms of recruitment and formation of new branches in the mining and allied sector, the period in question has not been without turbulences and heavy challenges such as the threatened job security at KCM. And ZCTU president Leonard Hikaumba urged the government to keep a close eye on KCM because it was the only mining company which was always in the media for wrong reasons. “Why should KCM be the problem company? Is it the only mining company? We have Mopani, Kansanshi and others,but we don’t get reports like we do from KCM. Government should keep an eye on KCM. Failure to meet statutory obligations, it Is KCM, retrenching workers, it is KCM. We are disappointed with KCM,” Mr Hikaumba said.