Govt calls for transparency and accountability in the mines


By Nation Reporter

GOVERNMENT says Zambia being a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative   (EITI) it  is required to produce the reconciliation reports annually in  the mining industry for the   benefit of the  citizens.

Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development permanent secretary Paul Chanda said  the purpose of producing  annual reports  was to promote transparency and accountability in the mining  sector  by keeping the public informed of all tax payments made by extractive companies.

Mr Chanda said Zambia had published seven reconciliation reports since 2009 when the country joined the EITI as a candidate country.

He said the EITI reports currently included information on the extractive industry in Zambia, the applicable legal regulatory framework in addition to the information on how much  money had been paid by the companies and  the amount in full received by the Government.

Mr Chanda said the  2016  EITI standards required all implementing countries to develop  a  plan for the beneficial  ownership disclosure  in the mining  sector by January 2017.

He said the advantage of the beneficial ownership disclosure would help improve the mining sector governance by disclosing the actual owners of the mining houses.

He said dialogue using reconciliation reports  had taken place in some mining houses, however there was need to scale up the  talks if the  objectives of EITI’s were to be realized.

Mr Chanda also took the opportunity in Chingola  at Protea Hotel yesterday to launch the production of the 2015 and 8th EITI report which was based on the 2015 financial year.

He commended all the cooperating partners who had continued to support the implementation of the EITI in Zambia particularly the World Bank for funding the production of the 2015 Zambia EITI report.

Mr Chanda said the   production of the 2015 reconciliation report would not have been possible without the contribution from various stakeholders home and abroad

The permanent secretary was speaking in Chingola at the capacity building workshop for mining companies and Government agencies.

And a representative from the Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ZEITI) Siforiano Banda said it was important for the public to know how much money the mining houses in different parts of the country were paying to the Government in revenue for transparency and accountability to be achieved..

Mr Banda said the public had the right to know about the money the  mining firms paid to the Government  annually because the minerals were the natural resources for the Zambian people and not for anyone else.