JOHANNESBURG – The Zambian government intends to investigate claims that foreign mining companies in Zambia are extorting the country’s mineral wealth to enrich their respective countries back home.
The accusation was made by four prominent Zambians when they met with President Edgar Lungu on Thursday at State House in Lusaka to discuss a number of key socio-economic issues, the Lusaka Times reported on Friday.
Veteran politician and freedom fighter Sikota Wina, former ZCCM Investment Holdings Chairman Francis Kaunda, former minister in the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy party Peter Machungwa, and Yotam Kacham jointly asserted that mining companies were deliberately under-declaring production and failing to pay the appropriate corporate tax.
Kaunda, the quartet’s spokesman, said that the companies were also secretly and illegally mining gold, cobalt, platinum and other precious minerals which they were then selling on the international market to enrich their profits.
He advised Lusaka to engage Zambian experts to undertake a mineral audit in the country to determine how much the country is losing from the alleged expropriation of mineral wealth while simultaneously verifying claims from the mines that they are not making profits.
Lungu responded saying that the government will take into account their concerns over alleged malpractices by mining firms in the country and look into the issue.
- African News Agency (ANA)