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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Government should issue a clear and official statement regarding speculations to sell Mopani and KCM Mines

Columns Government should issue a clear and official statement regarding speculations...

By Nalucha Nganga Ziba – Country Director ActionAid Zambia

ActionAid Zambia has noted the recent and unfortunate speculations of the Zambian Government’s intent to sell mining companies – Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines to foreign investors.

With the recent withdrawal of Glencore, who were the majority shareholder in Mopani Copper Mines, in March 2021, there was an indication that the privatization blunders of the past would finally be corrected, and Zambia would finally reap the benefits of its valuable mineral resources learning from earlier failed privatization processes.

As ActionAid Zambia, we request that the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources through the office of the Minister to give a clear and official statement clearing the ongoing speculations of sale towards the mentioned mine companies, as well as an official statement on the legal status of the liquidation process of Konkola Copper Mine.

As ActionAid Zambia, we have recently worked in enhancing transparency and accountability in the extractive sector in ensuring that community voices are heard towards their grievances and implementation of various tax justice campaigns in the extractives.

We have so far with the support of other CSO’s supported the Government’s efforts of domesticating the African Mining Vision 2030 and advocating for the Mineral Revenue Sharing Mechanism to be implemented in the various host mining communities in the country.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of proper implementation of the Mineral Revenue Sharing Mechanism efforts were difficult to implement a mechanism that will benefit mining host communities.

As Zambia’s mining sector has historically been the backbone of the Zambian economy making up 78.9 percent of exports and contributing about 10 percent of GDP (EITI, 2019), it is important to note that once a sale of the mine is considered, the majority of shareholding must remain with a higher percentage being Zambian owned.

Unfortunately, with the controversial saga around the liquidation processes and legal matters arising, selling the mines to potential investors may not acquire an attractive or profitable price benefiting the country.

With the incoming of the New Administration and the New Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, we call on the New Government to take into consideration a robust consultative engagement with various stakeholders in the mining sector including Civil Society Organizations in order to strengthen government engagement in promoting open and accountable management of its mineral resources.

As ActionAid Zambia, we hope for the proper coordination of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) through the ZCCM-IH, in the light that a decision to sell either or both mines is made.

However, our recommendation is that Government explore other models that increase the participation of Zambians in the ownership and running of mines through transparent processes. The Zambian Government must therefore explore avenues to recapitalize these mines while maintaining ownership and control of their operations to ensure that they are not exploited by multinationals in the collections of mining taxes.

Additionally, Government must therefore continue to work to reduce financial malpractices of company tax avoidance, transfer mispricing, and illicit financial flows and ensure revenue collection is maximized while looking at measures to ensure that Corporate Social Responsibility is made mandatory to benefit the most vulnerable in the Zambian mining communities.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think this will be possible… today a minister will say this, next a provincial chairman will say that followed by a market party official who say something else.

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  2. Thank you Madam Ziba for speaking for your country. You are the kind of NGO leaders Zambia needs that can speak truth to power over the need to put Zambia first before foreign mining companies.

  3. The UPND hasn’t been sustained and sponsored by its general membership but by foreign entities, especially the Oppenheimer family represented by Olusegun Obasanjo. They’re not in love with Garry Nkombo or violent UPND cadres, they want mines. When Mazoka lost they abandoned KCM and thought they’d derail LPM. Similarly, when MCS began to receive Chinese money to fund the PF, the Chinese invaded the mines and 86% of government contracts were given to Chinese companies. So for as long you continue to look to foreign sponsors to bankroll your Party, expect them to have a big say on big business. Had ECL won, KCM could’ve gone to the Chinese. Now that it’s Bally in charge you don’t need to guess. Ask Milingo to release the list of bidders for KCM

  4. UPND leaders are businessmen, they will always have their businesses and their party sponsors in their minds whenever they are making decisions. Zambians, resourses will soon be depleted, you cannot afford to sleep 8hrs in a day. Stay alert.

  5. Mines are just too expensive to run and I really doubt we have the capacity to do so considering our industry base. Most of the equipment used in the mines is imported and patented for that matter. Either way we are always on the losing side. What we need is a suitable investor to pump in the required investment with an eye on the win win situation in terms of shareholding. We only seem to get it wrong on the need for a robust mining policy.

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  6. The practice of Inclusion we’re not going to attract the best. First time I landed in the United States I was offered to go to the US army, and that blew my mind. But I never went.

    In some countries the are rich people who dig huge holes just for fun.

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  7. #4 Timbwi. Yes everything is expensive. So why don’t we spend money on them ourselves? Where are those foreigners getting the cash from? If Vedanta could buy the mine on credit, why can’t we do the mining ourselves? Lack of confidence.

  8. List both Mopani and KCM on LUSE and sell 50% of the shares. This will raise the required capital to run them. Botswana only took 50% stake DEBotswana while Zambia literally nationalized the copper mines. We know who came out worse. State ownership can never succeed in Zambia due to political interference, tribalism and nepotism.
    The deal PF govt entered into with Glencore over Mopani should be reviewed. That is day light robbery. It reeks of financial capture. No sane person would agree to selling at a fixed price; a commodity whose price is always fluctuating.

  9. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! amakwebo. We must be very dull as a country for failing to ran our own mines. That is what happens to a fool, he will always think of selling property whenever he wants to have quick cash.

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