INVESTORS in the mining industry of Zambia have been urged to adequately plough back to the community by heavily investing in projects which are aimed at improving the lives of surrounding residents.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said mining investors were making a lot of money and hence they needed to start investing heavily in projects which would make a difference among the local people.
Mr Mukanga urged mining investors to consider supplementing Government efforts in constructing better roads in residential areas and other surrounding places where they were operating from.
Speaking in an interview in Livingstone, Mr Mukanga noted that mining companies were making huge and noticeable investments to improve the lives of people in other countries.
“We want mining investors to plough back adequately into the community. Some of them are taking the people of Zambia for a ride and we don’t want that investors who take people for granted.
“I want to see better roads in the residential areas upgraded by mining firms and I also want to see these firms sponsoring our children to go to school and even think of constructing a university in their area,” he said.
And Mr Mukanga, who is Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament (MP) for Kantashi Constituency in Mufulira, has urged Mopani Copper Mines to do more to improve the lives of people in Mufulira.
“Mopani Copper Mines cannot be writing notices to residents in Kankoyo to say vacate while we are starting up a smelter. That is wrong and unacceptable.
“I am not very happy, I am not an MP for Kankoyo but I am an MP for Kantashi in Mufulira so I am concerned as a resident of Mufulira,” Mr Mukanga said.
He claimed that investors at Mopani Copper Mines had not heavily ploughed back into the community ever since they took over the facility.
“The ploughing back they are talking about is repairing the Shinde Stadium and the rest. Is that the ploughing back we want?
“As an MP, I don’t think that is a correct thing and I think the mining company is taking us for a ride. I want the people of Mufulira to get jobs and I need to see a difference,” he said.
Mr Mukanga said every investor operating in Zambia, apart from those investing in the mining industry, should think big by ploughing back heavily to the communities where they were operating from.
“I need projects that can change the lives of people. Those clinics in Mufulira were constructed a long time ago when I was working for Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM).
“I want to see a different set of programmes. Even drilling boreholes is not acceptable from bigger firm,” he said.