Sunday, June 16, 2024

Zambian Suppliers Petition Government Over TradeCorp’s Operations at Lumwana Mine


A consortium of Zambian suppliers in the Copperbelt and North Western Provinces has expressed their intent to petition the Government over concerns related to TradeCorp, a South African firm that supplies items to the Lumwana Mine.

Last month, Mundia Lubinda, a local contractor, addressed an open letter to President Hakainde Hichilema, urging the Government to address the issues surrounding TradeCorp’s dominance in the supply of goods to Lumwana Mine.

Following this, Sitali Mweemba, another local supplier, issued a media statement requesting the government to ensure that local entities are not sidelined from business opportunities by foreign companies at Lumwana Mine.

In a joint statement released on Monday, the consortium stated its intention to request relevant government bodies to investigate the alleged Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Barrick Lumwana and TradeCorp.

Meanwhile, Good Governance Activist Peter Mulenga, based in Copperbelt, urged the Government to take a keen interest in the complaints raised by local suppliers regarding the alleged lack of adequate business opportunities at Lumwana, Kalumbila, and Kansanshi Mines in the North Western Province.

In an interview in Ndola, Mr. Mulenga expressed his shock at the lack of response from the government to the suppliers’ concerns, which have been consistently raised over the past two months.

Below is the Communiqué issued by Consortium Secretary Kazhila Samukonga.

24TH JULY, 2023


We want to draw attention to the problems with TradeCorp, a South African firm that supplies items to the Lumwana mine. Additionally, we are requesting the relevant authorities to investigate the MOU allegedly signed between Barrick and TradeCorp.

The following are the reasons we require an investigation:

1.Why has TradeCorp been given preferential treatment in all supply contracts over our local suppliers?

2.Why is TradeCorp allowed to submit numerous quotations on a tender while local suppliers cannot?

3.Why is TradeCorp allowed to submit quotes out of time, while Lumwana must wait until they quote before adjudicating?

4.What is the role of a lady named Suzet who resides in Lumwana, South Africa? We ask because every time there is a multimillion-dollar inquiry, she personally intervenes to ensure TradeCorp receives the order.

5.Is TradeCorp a Zambian company? If not, under what conditions are their employees allowed to work in Lumwana, and who awarded them work permits?

6.Why are TradeCorp employees seated at the commercial office at Lumwana, and who awarded them work permits?

7.We want to know the relationship between Kalonga Logistics and TradeCorp, as well as whether the listed Directors are actively serving Lumwana workers.

8.Why are all large contracts awarded to TradeCorp?

10.Does Lumwana adhere to the Local Content Act?

These and other concerns must be addressed promptly, or there will be nothing left for Zambian suppliers under your watch.

Communiqué issued by Consortium Secretary Kazhila Samukonga


  1. That’s the reality of allowing foreign entities to run your economy in the name of FDI, you become beggars in your own country. The only thing that Vedanta has which we don’t in order to run KCM is that they funded UPND’s campaigns while we didn’t. They’re coming back to pollute our environment and mistreat contractors and workers. They’ll again place idols at the entrance for every worker to pay homage. We’ve cursed ourselves.

  2. Try this in RSA or Botswana as a Zambian company you wont even get a look in but in Zambia its free for all buffet at the expense of SMEs.
    Zambian firms as well we should ask those “whys” from a business point as well like what is it that this foreign company offers that we can not, are we innovative enough?

    • When you do some digging about this company you find that its a Global firm not only based in RSA but has sudsidiaries and is based in Spain,

    • There are several reasons… one these companies are sort of insulated by our government… they decide what to pay and who to do business with.
      Our people also have played a part… conniving with those in supply/ buying departments to defraud the company by inflating prices, being paid without supplying anything etc

    • It’s not about innovation. We’re treated unfairly. We told Nervers Mumba when, as VP, he came to address our grievances with Glencoe at Mopani. They used to ask Zambia SMEs to deliver goods and wait for 45 or more days to be paid while RSA companies were being given LPOs with 60% down payment. In one month they’d give a US$200,000 to Zambian SMEs split into 300 smaller orders and then award US$10M to one or two foreign entities and then claim that they were giving a lot of business to Zambians! Later we discovered that some top expatriate employees in fact owned those RSA registered companies. We’ve been through this

    • Ayatollah – Another reason for all this is that we have very weak insititutions.. as I stated earlier there is no way you can get away with such unfair practices in Botswana or RSA…they would burn you alive!!

  3. How naive. These companies came to make money, not to give out money . They will ensure money circulates “within the family”. Same with Chinese …. you will have good business with them if you order from their preferred companies..of course Chinese companies.

  4. My troll above is trying hard to stay relevant but know one is paying it any attention.

    My genuine view is that it’s called a free market economy for a reason. You cannot enjoy the benefits that capitalism brings and then cry like babies when you experience the negatives. Zambian business people lack drive and hunger for success.

  5. Zambia unfortunately missed the boat…….

    By building useless roads at inflated prices instead of revamping the mine supply industries………

    Atleast half of that borrowed money should have been used to make sure only 10 % of supplies to the mines are imported…..

    All consumables should have been manufactured in zambia by now……..

    Ati unprecedented development ???

    Pure African dullness to the extreme…….

    concentrating on unsustainable things while gifting jobs to SA and China.

  6. It looks like Spaka and TIKKI have given up on HH….and they’re not the only ones who have given up on HH and i seriously don’t blame them

  7. Lumwana is a private company and not a government owned entity.
    They run the business for profit and not for charity.
    The only obligation lumwana has is to pay taxes to the government and obey the labour laws.
    You may have a case if the goods being supplied are manufactured locally and lumwana instead imports them.Then import duties can be increased.
    But if our local supplier is also importing the goods, then his complaint falls apart.

    • That’s the view of someone who doesn’t understand these things. Under Adam Wright as MD, Lumwana gave business to many Zambians that included vegetable vendors. That’s how vegetable gardens proliferated in Manyama and surrounding areas. Those streams became prime land. When Barrick took over many locals lost contracts and here we’re today. Locals still remember Adam Wright. It’s about doing the right thing. What has changed? Barrick has even brought Hottentots as mining experts

    • @Ayatollah
      Tomatoes are grown locally and not imported. I would have an issue if lumwana imported the tomatoes. But that contractor basically wants to take over the importation of supplies from the foreign supplier. Thats nonsense.
      Let him start manufacturing those items locally..

    • Like I said you seem to be one that comments without factual info. Don’t you know that almost everything served at the canteen comes from RSA or companies that originate from there like Shoprite? When people complain it means there’s something wrong

    • Useless*****isn’t the effort to attract foreign investment to boost opportunities for Zambians. What is the point in bringing in someone to simply collect money and send it back home without any form of benefits for the locals. Is that the policy of your party?

  8. TradeCorp is being used for transfer pricing. Externalizing profits by overpricing goods and services at hyperinflated prices and then declaring losses and thus avoiding paying tax to the government. We are being screwed from all the orifices. Sorry for the language but no better way to put it.

  9. It doesn’t end there. Depending on the clauses in the development agreement, they can carry forward those fake losses and screw us over again in the following years. That is why mining companies on the copperbelt have been declaring losses for over ten years and yet do want to let go of the mines. The system of using civil servants and western law firms to negotiate sale agreements is deeply flawed. Western law firms allegiance is not with us. Some of our ur own lawyers would probably be worse given the lust for money exhibited since the beginning of the 3rd republic. Civil servants are not business savy to match the negotiators on the side of large mining corporates. Add to the mess, our politicians asking for campaign funds from mining companies.

  10. Lumwana is just one of the many mining houses that discriminate against Zambians. And most of the discrimination is along race. When you go to the Chinese mines, they prefer to give business to their fellow Chinese or import directly from China.
    When the Indians were running KCM, all the Indian suppliers were given big orders and paid on time or even in advance. When the white South Africans were in top management at Mopani, companies like RedPath and others got multi-million dollar contracts and they paid themselves handsomely. So Lumwana, Kansanshi, Kalumbila and all are just doing what has always been done.

  11. Hakainde is not going to help you. There is a reason why they gave him a rousing welcome in Brussels and Washington as soon as he became president, and why he has refused to join other presidents at the Africa-Russia forum in St Petersburgh, and has never been China. There is a reason why Kagame and Ruto have been given 20, 000 acres each to grow food for Rwanda and Kenya respectively, while Zambians cannot afford a meal. There is a reason why Kagame, Ruto and Hakainde all have not gone to Russia. I hate all the tribalists who ruled Zambia before Hakainde, but I fear that by the time this one is finished, our country will be likely one of those central American banana republics owned by American corporations.

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