GOVERNMENTclosely monitor mining companies

Christopher Yaluma
Christopher Yaluma

GOVERNMENT says it will compel mining companies to submit a plan of projects to be executed and services to be procured as a way of ensuring that consideration for contracts first goes to local bidders.
The decision, which is expected to be implemented before the end of next month, will also help maintain jobs for Zambians.
And Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said government has come up with a joint blue-print with Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) aimed at improving and sustaining operations at the mining company to enable it effectively contribute to economic growth.
He was speaking during the Zambia General Contractors, Suppliers, Transporters and Scrap Metal Dealers Association’s annual general meeting in Chingola yesterday.
“Unless you [contractors] say you cannot do that job, then it should be given to foreign companies, and that has to do with specialized works.  Local contractors should be given contracts as opposed to awarding contracts to foreign firms.
“This is why we want to compel the mining houses to give a plan of projects and services that they would want to source upfront, so they can break down what is supposed to be done by local contractors,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said mining companies are still making profits which should be reinvested in Zambia to benefit the local people.
He also said Government and KCM have come up with an improvement plan for the mine to sustain its operations in Zambia.
“We have had serious discussions on the issue of an improvement plan to sustain the mining firm’s operations in Chingola and Chililabombwe,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said KCM has agreed to provide money for the plan for it to be sustainable and would pay out all debts it owes various organisations.
He said Government will monitor KCM’s performance on a quarterly basis.
He said the mining company was reaping profits which were being externalized to other countries.
And Mr Yaluma has warned of stern action if corruption is allowed to take root in the mining firms.
He said President Sata has on several occasions discouraged corruption, saying the vice should be fought by all well-meaning citizens.
“Let us ensure that we report any corruption activities at KCM,” he said.
Speaking earlier, association president Kidson Mwandila said contractors have had difficulties in being awarded contracts by KCM.
“We as an association, face difficulties in being awarded jobs from KCM, overseas companies are given preference. Most contracts are being given to foreign Indian-based companies,” he said.
He alleged there are some Zambian companies that are given numerous jobs through nepotism and favouratism.
Mr Mwandila also said that there was poor corporate social responsibility by KCM especially with the rehabilitation of the road network in the mining town.
“The other social amenities like arts, theatre, cricket, rugby, hockey, bowling and swimming have been relegated to more of a stand-alone status,” he said.