Mines should account for precious minerals

Mining companies are making a fortune out of Zambians because they are also exploiting other mineral resources other than copper under which the companies were privatised, People’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFFP) has charged.

EFFP president Sydney Muyamba told the Daily Nation yesterday that Zambia was losing a lot of revenue from the mines as some of them were involved in extracting other minerals such as precious stones which were obtaining on the mines secretly.

Mr. Muyamba noted that while the companies extracting other precious stones in small quantities, Zambia was losing a lot because the minerals were fetching a lot of money which was not taxed by government.

“The current setup is such that all our governments who have been involved in privatising our mines sold these natural blessings focussing only on copper without taking into account the other trace and yet there are very high value minerals like Uranium in the case of Lumwana, Gold and Emeralds in cases of Copperbelt mines and other precious stones.

“With this kind of arrangement, it means that the foreign mining investors are taking away a lot of money in these precious minerals and high value substances like Uranium.

“This topic is long yet very disheartening to see our leaders allow such a vice to erode our natural blessing and economy as foreigners take away emeralds, uranium, gold to go and build expensive towns and suburbs in Europe, Asia and America while you and the rest of Zambia wallow in abject poverty; as if we have no mines,” he said.

He said that his party will stop the scourge by making all companies account for other minerals so that Zambians could benefit from these natural resources and help to rebuild the ravaged economy if it forms government next year.

He charged that Zambia would have built many hydro and thermo power stations and  avoided this load shedding if had knowledgeable and non-corrupt leaders. He said the extra monies that could have been realised from taxes for such minerals could have been used to increase salaries and better the conditions of service for our civil servants.