A consortium of Zambian suppliers in the Copperbelt and North Western Provinces has announced plans to stage a protest over alleged unfair business competition at Lumwana Mine in the North Western Province.
Consortium Secretary Kazhila Samukonga has charged that there are cartels at Lumwana Mine by foreign suppliers that are disadvantageous to local suppliers.
Mr. Samukonga said local suppliers want their concerns over the manner in which business is being done at Lumwana to be addressed by the authorities swiftly.
He said Zambian companies are not benefiting from the mining industry because foreign investors have formed cartels to externalise all the funds from the sector.
Mr. Samukonga further revealed that suppliers will further file a court injunction to restrain a firm operating as Kalonga Logistics Ltd from doing business at Lumwana in an unfair manner that is disadvantageous to local firms.
“We feel let down over various concerns we have been raising regarding business in the mines especially those in the North Western and now we are planning a protest. We want to know why Lumwana has brought in Coventry International Ltd trading as Kalonga Logistics to be a sole supplier to them. Coventry International is TradeCorp Affiliated. These and other concerns must be investigated immediately, or else there would be nothing for Zambian suppliers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the consortium has written to the Immigration Department requesting it to investigate a suspected case of non adherence to employment permits by named foreign nationals at Lumwana Mine.
A letter addressed to the Director General of the Immigration Department dated 8th August, 2023 stated in part:”We want to draw your attention to the fact that the aforementioned individuals received work permits to work as the procurement managers at Golden Camp Solution Ltd in Lumwana. However they now work as the Site liaison officers for TCL Supply Chain International in the commercial office at Lumwana, and one official enters the building as a representative for Coventry International Ltd, a foreign company that does business in Zambia as Kalonga Logistics Ltd.”
“You should be concerned about this, as these corporations have organized a cartel in Lumwana to prevent Zambian suppliers from receiving jobs or contracts there. Does the permission allow this named individual to use the same permit to operate at Golden Camp and TCL International? You should also be aware that the aforementioned businesses are Zambian supplier’s rivals, which explains our interest,” the suppliers wrote.