ZAMBIA risks being suspended from the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) if it fails to start disclosing company information, especially on the mines, says the local EITI head Siforiano Banda.
Mr Banda said Zambia should by 2020 start disclosing information on company beneficial ownership, particularly in the mines, as a way of promoting transparency and accountability in the sector.
He was speaking at a workshop organised by Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) and EITI Zambia on the extractive industry in Zambia. Mr Banda explained that the objective of disclosing such information was to enhance transparency and accountability in the mining sector which generated most revenue for Zambia.
“A beneficial owner means the natural owner who directly or indirectly controls the corporate entity. In other words he or she might not be known but he is behind the scenes and yet he controls the management of the company.
“He then transfers money in oversees accounts and this deprives the country of getting the revenue it deserves. This also means that they do not pay tax because it does not pass through the system,” he said.
And Minister of Mines and Development, Christopher Yaluma, implored the media to be proactive in reporting on EITI issues as it was key in promoting transparency and accountability by disseminating information.
In a speech read for him by director of mines, Mooya Lumamba, Mr Yaluma urged the media to take interest in reporting on issues which caused Zambia to lose revenue.
“The EITI Zambia has produced seven reports on the extractive industry and so the media should take interest in reading these reports as they help to stimulate dialogue and debate in the mining sector,” he said.