A Lusaka based economist has expressed concern over continued reports of thefts of copper cathode in the country saying this has a negative impact on economic growth.
Professor Oliver Saasa noted with sadness that government has continued to lose revenue through tax invasions by illegitimate dealers in the mining industry.
Professor Saasa told ZANIS that the vice may cause loss of investor confidence in the mining sector if it continues.
He said the mining industry can only remain attractive to investors if it embraces business security and safety of its products.
He said copper has remained the country’s economic driver as it accounts for over 70 per cent of the nations export revenue.
Prof. Saasa said the thefts are an indication that the demand for copper on the black market has increased.
He has since called on local producers to strengthen protection of mining products and curb security leakages.
Prof. Saasa has meanwhile commended law enforcement agencies and other security wings for unearthing copper theft scams.
He has since called on the security wings to expedite measures in dealing with copper theft cases.
Government has put several measures in place to fight copper theft through the former Anti Copper Thefts Unit now known as the Anti Jerabo Unit.
Yesterday, Police in Livingstone raided a house and recovered over 100 bags of copper cathodes and blisters in Dambwa site and service.