Hundreds of protesters who  marched to the Headquarters of Konkola Copper Mines in Lusaka Thursday afternoon
Hundreds of protesters who marched to the Headquarters of Konkola Copper Mines in Lusaka Thursday afternoon

Hundreds of protestors marched to the Headquarters of Konkola Copper Mines in Lusaka Thursday afternoon over the recent controversy regarding the mining giant’s tax practices.

The demonstrations were organised by ActionAid in Zambia.

The protest follows the YouTube release of a video of Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal apparently mocking Zambia at a trade conference over the giveaway price he paid for KCM assets.

In the video, Agarwal said: “We took over the company. It’s been nine years and since then, every year it is giving us a minimum of US$ 500 million plus US$ 1 billion every year…It has continuously giving back.”

Vedanta has claimed that Mr Agarwal’s comments were taken out of context and that nearly all the returns from KCM have been reinvested back into KCM.

However, the statement made no mention of the company’s profitability or tax payments.

ActionAid Zambia Country Director Pamela Chisanga said: “Zambia’s citizens are up in arms. If KCM is engaged in tax avoidance, it would be depriving Zambia of vital revenue through taxes and dividend payments to the government. Tax is vital, it pays for schools, hospitals and roads. When big companies don’t pay their fair share, Zambia’s citizens suffer. Vedanta and KCM must pay their fair share of tax. The Zambian government should carry out a forensic audit of KCM accounts and publish the results.”

Ms. Chisanga is asking the Zambian Government to go further than the Zambia Revenue Authority investigation and carry out a forensic audit of the company.

She said ActionAid believes transparency is vital to reveal whether Mr Agarwal’s claims are true and whether the Zambian Government needs to act to recover unpaid taxes from the company.

“Further, ActionAid is calling on the Zambian Government to introduce legislation to mandate the Auditor General to audit all mining companies in Zambia,” she said.

ActionAid in Zambia is also calling on the public to join the SMS action by texting their call to Government to act on the number 5577.

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53 COMMENTS

    • It hurts me when i see how these foreigners are stripping off our resources while avoiding paying all the necessary tax`s.Half a century from now all we will have are trenches,caves and tunnels as a witness of what were once the country’s mines after all the copper finishes.It is a sad state of affairs.

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    • The demonstration is welcome but did it have to take such a long time to take place?

      This should have been immediate and spontaneous throughout the country soon after that video was in public domain.

      Are we really patriotic? Do we really care about our country and want the very best for it? If we do then we must change our bad attitude towards our country that has caused us to lag behind in development.

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    • IN FACT THIS IS LONG OVER DUE. I HAVE SEE”. TRUE, BUT ONE OF THE REMEDY IS INVESTORS TO PARTNER WITH ZAMBIANS AND THERE MUST BE A POLICY OR POLICIES TO THAT EFFECT.

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    • demonstrating without the evidence…. why can’t ActionAid do the audit ?
      And who is funding the ActionAid-Zambia, is it Vendata? Printing all those T-shirts, when that money can be used to clean streets or bath street kids.
      Talking of T-shits, buy boys/girls size, after your demos, give it away in streets.
      This why Chikwanda says some of these NGOs are for survival.

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    • KCM has bribed the President, ZRA, Ministers of Mines, Finance, Trade & Industry and Home Affairs. That is why this company is having its way in Zambia. They already raped this country of more than 1000% of the meagre investment they brought into our country yet they continue exploiting our brothers and sister under their employ. This is DAYLIGHT ROBBERY WHICH CALLS FOR A BLOODY REBELLION!!!

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    • KCM hides its finished copper at its Nkana plant. When the trucks carrying copper from reach Chililabombwe reach Kitwe’s black mountain, they turn to the right where the commodity is hidden

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  1. Mwasensela elyo bwacha!! This demo is long over due. For a long time now there has been news everywhere – on the internet and radios on how Zambia was being defrauded of taxes!! BBC Radio 2 two years ago even carried a live phone programme on whether it was morally for British people to buy shares in Vendatta which was robbing Zambia by evading taxes.

    If we dont stand up for ourselves who will!!

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  2. Let’s push for what belongs to us while Sata sleeps! Waiting for this govt to act won’t happen. They have failed to act on the constitution and what remains is to completely remove them from power!

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    • Suntwe Ulimbwa chabe and no well meaning zambian should listen to your idiocy.
      We as PF are not the one who sold KCM as such we are looking at legal implications before we can react.The problem with you dull speaking tribes is you like grabbing forgetting what will be the after math.Thats the more reason we can not allow beakering power angry lot like you to rule us.Shut up and let the chosen ones deal with this issue amicably.

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  3. this is what we really need. maybe now we cannot only hear a statement but see some action from the people we have entrusted to manage our copper. VIVA BANA CHISANGA AND COMPANY, you have my back and i need one of those beautiful t-shirts aswel.

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  4. Thanks ActionAid! I just wish more of demos could be done countrywide because some Govts/people in Govt can only act after citizens make louder disturbing noises. They need to be pushed for them to make a move, it seems they were born like!!

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  5. and to all the cadres, whether PF MMD, UPND,FDD,ABZ etc, this is where we need you as one to bring out that cadrelism and instead of throwing stones at each other, channel that energy into chanting against VEDANTA for the sake of your children and mine.

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  6. And The Kopala characters are waiting for ActionAid instructions as well?

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  7. Action Aid is the vested interest of Anti Indian campaign. Chinese, American, British and other nations are now marginalised by the might of Indian technology and manpower. Thats how a long term campaign has been started against Vedanta.

    No one except Vedanta can do what it is doing for KCM and Zambia. Once Vedanta is thrown out (as is the agenda for Action Aid, so that their masters Chinese can enter), we will see how calamity strikes us.

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    • You what? So it’s ok for the indians to reap us off because otherwise the chinese, or the british will? I don’t think it was the chinese who made Agarwal to give the speech he did. Agarwal of his volition stated how they were reaping the africans off…

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    • Very foolish observation @Kazak; You are Zambian, and what have you got against the Chinese, of course some of them are dubious, most of them have brought the spirit of hard work in this country. Come and have a look at Chambeshi (Levy’s baby) and see what they have done. Don’t talk like you are sitting on a chamber shitting, what a moron!!!!

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    • I think what kazak is saying is that it may not be so much a question of being anti Indian but that we don’t have the capacity to run these mines.50 years down the line all we have are elitist business people,lawyers,engineers,etc with money but only good as shareholders and not at developing new, wholly indigenous ventures.As long as this scenario remain unchanged, whethr with Chinese,British or out of space investors we shall forever remain doing what we’re good at-making noise.Mind you the British were here.They reaped,plundered and left,leaving us poor.Onus is on us!

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  8. I salute you ACTION AID zambia, thats the way to go. Whilst you are at it, ask yr colleagues at UK ACTION AID to demostrate against vedanta at LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE.

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  9. What us as Africans especially us Zambians don’t know is that this game is about having a voice not making noise…when we elect representatives based on party affiliation instead of what they individual will do this is what you get.
    Seasoned politicans know that this mere noise and will die out hence the silence from State House…come 2016 people will make the selfsame mistakes and expect different results. It didn’t have to take the CEO to spell it to you.

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  10. Amazing…this is what the copperbelt people wanted but we blocked by ZP. The demo should actually be extended to State House because this goes to show you that, State House and GRZ machinery (ZRA and ZCCM-IH) have either been fast asleep or are in cahoots with KCM. We know our history and we know when political decision are wrong. Our politicians are not qualified to negotiate on behalf of the people of Zambia because of the selfishness that precedes their character. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. Lets get Scotland Yard to do a Forensic Investigation on the White Collar Crime in KCM/Vedanta and unravel the Chinese Bookkeeping, then kick out and sue Vedanta for stealing and defrauding the nation….SHAME ON VEDANTA, SHAME ON GRZ for defrauding its OWN!!!!!!

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  11. Cherry picking demos. What a fallacy to demo on KCM while the elephant in the room is more of a sick lion. The government has failed lamentably, this demo is suppose to be directed at this PF incompetent governance method. Lets say just for a second these demonstrators wanted a constitution, I can assure you the entire Zambia PF police and vigilante would have minted all sorts of hooliganism on them. Yes demo for others but not for the government. What a joke.

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  12. I hope Zambians are waking up from their deep slumber, of worshiping foreigners and imagining they are our Savior. I also hope they will wake up and really scrutinize the leaders they vote into power. The leaders they put in power must have integrity, honorable, smart, wise, intelligent, result oriented, healthy, young, educated, dynamic, humble, willing to listen and learn. Lets please get out of this stu1pid mode and really do something for our country, it’s not too late. The Zambian voter is the real culprit here who needs to come to their senses and help us get out of this nightmare. They got us in this mess they must now get us out by not voting stup!dly again in the next election.

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  13. What a joke! You should also demonstrate against Chikwanda, masquerading as Finance Minister when he is in cahoots with these so called “infestors”. The clown vehemently opposes introduction of windfall tax when he cannot pay for the medication that the hospital needs nor provide quality education for our people. What a joke!

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  14. Big up to Pamela Chisanga. You are doing a great job for Zambia, you speaking for the voiceless like me and others within our community. Politicians and Business man who run multi-conglomerate are *****s who don’t care about the masses suffering from pollution and employees being under-paid.

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  15. Zambians are of the most “Emotionally unstable” persons in Africa. Mining is a long term business. A few with real grip of mining economy are sidelines and out-voiced by emotionally manipulated majority.

    Let HH, Nevers, RB, Maureen, Chikwanda, Situmbeko, Magande speak about KCM, Mopani, Chambishi, First Quantum etc.

    Facts ignored by majority:
    1. Mine was making a loss of US1,100,000 a day when late Mr. Mwanawasa sought somebody with mining experience to come and takeover at any price. That translates into US402,000,000 a year.
    2. Copper prices were low, production was decreasing, cost of producing a ton of copper was two and a half times of selling price
    3. Mines needed huge investment just to sustain the production, reduce human casualties (At that time KCM and Mopani had one…

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  16. … had one of highest workers accident rate, flooding of mines was frequent, fall of rocks and the like was the order of the day
    Nobody asks oneself- Why did Anglo American leave, if KCM was such a good mine?
    Why PF government that was threatening KCM shareholders of taking it over have backtracked on their threats?
    Answer lies in cost of production of KCM, huge debt it has incurred and Vedanta’s commitment and ploughing back of ALL CASH FLOW it generated from KCM.
    Not many will agree with my contribution, but the reality on the ground is different from what interest groups are portraying and diverting the frustration of the masses towards an easy target- Foreigners. This phobia can take us back by decades.

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  17. And as for Mr. Agarwal, he was addressing Indian students. In his zeal to impress them he was not only dramatising the whole address and massaging his own ego of making it big in life. I am not a fan of Vedanta or Agarwal but have great concern for the economy and avoidance of sheep mentality. If any of the bloggers has experience of mining economy he shall go ahead, buy 100 shares in KCM/Vedanta and as a shareholder demand to know the facts. I have been analysing the financial and technical performance of Barrick Gold, First Quantum, KCM and Mopani and find that KCM is comparatively the most difficult mine to operate in Zambia. And for gullible masses, Barrick Gold has its own challenges. PF government can buy these mines off and give to Zambian technocrats to run them. Good luck.

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    • We could have done this long if we could but we can’t. Obviously this would only be at our own peril.Which Zambian investor, govt inclusive would have the capacity to run KCM and take over all that labour force?Learn to put the ball down ba NGO!

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    • That does not justify tax stealing of Zambian tax. As long as profits are recorded correct taxes should be paid.

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  18. Remarkable country. Zambian police can give a permit and find personnel to provide security to hundreds of NGO demonstrators but won’t find the time to do the same to opposition parties who are more likely to have an impact on government policy regarding investors than any NGO! What a country!

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  19. Only fools place their fate in politicians……! way to go…..next, we should raise aganist the mining project in lower zambia (national park). This is my happiest day…thanks actionaid…bravo to the brave souls that participated and made it possible.

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  20. black people. is that the best u can do?
    we swear we shall leave your country when we plunder all your minerals.
    we have swiss bank ,accounts luxury cars and businesses in various countries
    we shall make you poor and suffer the minimum wage and make ourselves stinking rich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  21. The placard I like the most is the one saying: ‘Prosecute KCM Negotiators!’

    Now thats somewhere to start from. Then move on to those that have allowed this rot to continue.

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  22. OCCUPY KCM!

    The protesters have the right idea.

    ” Vedanta has claimed that Mr Agarwal’s comments were taken out of context and that nearly all the returns from KCM have been reinvested back into KCM. ”

    No they didn’t. They said they re-invested $2.9 billion (money obtained from Zambian copper). However Anil Agarwal claimed that he made 0.5 billion for 9 years ($4.5 billion), ‘plus $1 billion’ ($5.5 billion, unless he meant ‘Plus $ 1billion every year, in which case he alone made $13.5 billion in 9 years) – so that doesn’t add up.

    Everyone knows what privatisation is, former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz called it ‘briberization’.

    The corruption starts at the World Bank/IMF level, and that is what we need to deal with.

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    • Ya sure, why KCM occupy everything ? Every mine in Zambia, stop using all products of world, start producing everything , stay in island called Zambia thereafter my dear friend , no private investor will come for charity – they will earn profit , question is what they do with profit – Read what happened with KCM profits ? Look inside first in house for corruption before preaching world – Grow Up and see real world dynamics and stop encouraging wrong things , President Sata and team are doing good job – let them focus on correct things

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  23. This shows how bad our government policies r. Do we have to wait for something to go wrong then we act? Prevention is always better than cure. Don’t tell me the govt don’t anything about Tax evasion by these Indians. There are big Breams in the govt benefitting from all this mess. It show how our society has become so corrupt. God have mercy on our mother Zambia.

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  24. Finally we have woken up. Well done. But keep the pressure on until something is down about it. Don’t make it a one off.

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  25. Zambian Brothers-spend your energy and time in something else then wasting time in all such activities, Zambia needs foreign capital and international big investors are the only big hope, by doing all this we are ensuring dollar to Kwacha going to 1d =10 k, this is not easy mine and government doesn’t have the resources to run mines -specially not a 50 year old mine which has highest cost of operation and is second biggest direct employer of country and indirectly assist so many families in its own way, government need to take care of people and community need. Removing one investor whom you only sold at whatever cost will result into cancelling program to invest in Zambia and others will stop investing ? please understand seriousness and behave like matured society focus on real…

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    • Stop shilling for the mines.

      Don’t try to sell us the idea that Anil Agirwal is ‘our only real hope’.

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  26. has the government sourced for a contractor to maintain embassy park and possibly dig a pit in advance so as to reduce the area to maintain? I need to put a flower in advance in case death catches with me first.am told the contractor is usually paid in us$
    .let him be paid now before kwacha looses much of it’s strength.if on mwanawasa k2.6 billion was spent, what of him.it’s a matter of converting this money into dollars that time (1usdollar * k3200 and now @ k7700)almost 6billion unrebased.

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  27. And of course it isn’t just KCM, but also Mopani, and I’m sure all miners who operate this way. They just haven’t been caught bragging about it on video. From 3 years ago:

    (SARWATCH) Mopani’s tax issues provoke debate
    EdwardL –> By Edward Lange | Fevereiro 13th, 2011

    TAX payment irregularities revealed by the audit report at Mopani mines has silenced all arguments against the reintroduction of a simplified mining revenue collection system such as the windfall tax, says Dr Fred Mutesa.

    Commenting on revelations of tax payment irregularities and inconsistent production figures that are submitted to the ZRA, Dr Mutesa, who is Zambian Empowerment for Development (ZED) president, …

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  28. Continued…

    … Nkana PF parliamentarian Mwenya Musenge has challenged finance and mines ministers, Situmbeko Musokotwane and Maxwell Mwale [add Alexander Chikwanda], respectively, to stop acting as if they ‘know it all’ because their mining policies had failed resulting in Zambia losing millions [billions] of dollars.

    “If not properly checked, multinational companies such as Mopani and many other mines will continue to under invoice and under price for purpose of tax avoidance and evasion. So it is time to come up with a tax regime that is easier to enforce and collect revenue and also to compel the mines to do more on corporate social responsibility since copper is a waste asset and soon we shall very negative environmental liabilities,” Dr Mutesa said.

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  29. It is illogical to contend that when investors carrying difficult mining operations which we can’t do then they are justified to cheat on tax payments. Correct taxes have to be paid regardless of how huge the investment may be. Afterall we brought them in to bring huge investments so that they pay huge amounts of taxes

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  30. It is illogical to contend that when investors carrying difficult mining operations which we can’t do then they are justified to cheat on tax payments. Correct taxes have to be paid regardless of how huge the investment may be. After all we brought them in to bring huge investments so that they pay huge amounts of taxes. Otherwise what is the point.

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