Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo at the wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph during Youth Day celebrations
Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo

The Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors has demanded that a labour audit be conducted in the mining sector to ascertain the over stay of expatriates.

The Association is accusing the mining firms of having formed cartels aimed at depriving Zambians of opportunities to do business with the mines.

This is according to a document of outcomes produced after the Association held a meeting last Friday with Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo and Transport and Logistics Members at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium Conference room under the theme “Economic Freedom and Citizen Participation.”

The Association observed that some countries in the region have put up laws that restrict foreigners to participate in the local economy if they are not in partnership with the locals.

“Tanzania has restricted trucks from carrying cargo from their ports to Zambia. They have used the port to create employment in the transport sector. Botswana has restricted any foreigner from setting up a company unless a Tswana is on board and it should be 50-50. No one has blamed them. That’s how they want to run their affairs. And us we can leverage on copper and create employment and bulk businesses,” read part of the document.

The Association also stated that all mines on the Copperbelt and North-western provinces have opened up offices in South Africa, Australia and India thereby giving business to those countries, creating employment in those countries and depriving Zambians.

The Association has since requested Mr Lusambo that these offices must be closed and relocated back to Zambia.

On payments, the Association observes that payments are taking too long to local suppliers and contractors as opposed to foreign competitors who normally get paid even before delivery.

The Association members felt that this is a ploy to disadvantage Zambians and aimed at reducing their capacities in managing their businesses.

“Further they proposed that a law must be put in place that will allow local companies to be paid within15 days in order to accelerate compliance with government institutions such as ZRA,” the document further read.

The Association further stated that mines have created serious cartels among themselves in procurement, transportation, services and supply.

It said mining firms have formed companies who are doing serious works and Zambians have no access to such high valued opportunities for businesses.

“These mines are using agency and QEM issues to exclude us from business and that the tendency of buying everything from South Africa and South African companies should come to an end.”

The Association members also noted that it is practically impossible for Zambians to have access to the mine sites which makes it difficult to access business since there is no link with the end users.

The Association also observed that it has become impossible for Zambian companies to be registered in the mines as vendors but very easy for foreigners to be registered even in areas were Zambians are already operating thus displacing them.

They submitted that registration process must be opened up to all and that the process should be shortened and should not be managed from outside Zambia.

The members also submitted that a threshold of minimum of K2.5 million worth of jobs should be given to Zambians and anything above should be procured through open tender.

“Trading should be left to Zambians because it requires no expertise since all required information and specification are given by the Mines and the same applies to services and contracts,” the document read.

The Association members have since urged Mr Lusambo that a strong policy is needed to protect Zambians doing business in the mining sector and those who are manufacturing goods which are being imported from outside disadvantaging local manufacturers and killing their innovations.

They said government and the Associations should identify products that are being imported but have a high chance of being manufactured locally in order to develop the local manufacturing industry.

Association President Augustine Mubanga has since thanked Mr Lusambo for what he called candid leadership and interest in resolving the challenges that has lingered for too long in the mining sector.

Mr Mulenga said this has created hope that government will come up with immediate measures to support suppliers, contractors and transporters on the Copperbelt.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. For as long you local contractors and aspiring manufactures don’t offer PF any bribes , your efforts will be in vain.

    PF only work if there is corruption for them……the foreigners have more money to bribe PF so every thing is to their advantage…

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  2. THE MINES HAVE OPENED OFFICES IN SA, AUSTRALIA ETC…..HOW UNEDUCATED CAN YOU BE……THESE MINING COMPANIES COME FROM THESE COUNTRIES, THEY HAVE INVESTED IN ZAMBIA, OBVIOUSLY THEY WILL HAVE OFFICES IN THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE FROM !
    SHOW ME ONE LOCAL MANUFACTURER THAT CAN PRODUCE GOODS REQUIRED FOR MINING – ALL LOCAL CONTRACTORS WILL HAVE TO IMPORT THE GOODS AND THEY WILL THEN SELL IT TO THE MINES AT HEAVILY INFLATED PRICES……

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    • Lungu and his PF theving rats have spent $17 billions and still can not even make work saftey cloths to supply the mines ….zambia is doomed under this corrupt theif lungu and his gang….

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  3. Why only SA, INDIA and AUSTRALIA mentioned, maybe i am daft but I thought the CHINESE also operated mines in zambia and a chinese company was awarded contract to rehabilitate baluba mine useing their own kind.
    Let’s not upset the pf major funder the CHINESE the real owners of ZAMBIA

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    • As a matter of fact the Chinese are the worst culprits here. With Chinese mines it starts from the wages they pay their own labour which are worse compared to other mines. Procurement, they buy everything for themselves from China even a simple bolt and nut! There are very few or no local contractors servicing them.

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    • Well……. the Chinese are the main dooners for PF campain funds during elections, they own your black monkey arss.es

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  4. Its commendable to fight for the Zambian contractors and indeed its long overdue. However the Zambian contractors have brought this on themselves somehow. How do you explain working for say 10 years but struggling to pay workers and government obligations.You mean your company just remains small even after that long period! Upfront payment before delivery which used to happen was messed up by contractors themselves who would disappear without delivering. My suggestion, as you fight for the plight of the local contractors,let your organisation start regulating these companies by ensuring that the bad eggs are removed and only retain those that deliver, pay workers and are compliant to statutory government bodies

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  5. I just hope you will also play your part by discarding bribe enticement of supply personnel. I don’t support procurement of supplies from outside Zambia by the mines but I do sympathize with them because of the way your members steal from these mines. Mines have established a system where malpractice by buyers can be reported but I am yet to see even a single supplier using this channel.

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  6. All financial enterprises in zambia including the government must pay their accounts in the correct time frame.
    This is why zambia and zambians accept living on credit. Govt doesn’t pay wages, contractors on time, govt employess have to borrow to survive, contractors not paid so can’t pay wages, mines dont pay invoices on time so suppliers and their staff have to borrow to survive it is a vicious circle. Why can’t govt pay wages on time, why can’t FRA pay farmers within 30 days of supply.Why can’t mines pay suppliers on time ,copper is high now.
    Then we have pipo borrowing from friends and family on the promise that their employer will pay them. Just pay what is due on time then economy is oiled to function

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  7. LOOK AT OUR OWN ZAMEFA IN LUANSHYA HON LUSAMBO NOT ONLY THE MINNING COMPANIES.OUTSOURCING IS ORDER OF THE DAY IN THIS COMPANY

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  8. When Nevers Sekwila Mumba was VP he tried to address this genuine cause, I don’t know how he failed. Fanwell Banda, the Chairman of the 1st association of mine suppliers that has now gone quiet began to behave in a strange way. He kept the association constitution to himself, he was upset with whoever asked for it and dared to talk about elections. I wonder where he is. Augustine Mubanga looks serious but I have never heard him call for elections since the inception of the current association. Most of the senior managers in these mines are also suppliers with companies domiciled in SA, so I doubt if Bowman can win this battle. Let’s just start our own mines and forget about these chaps. Kavindele is struggling to start his own railway line but I like his zeal. That’s what will liberate…

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