Francis Kaunda Accuses Mines of ‘Extorting Zambia’s Mineral Wealth’
A number of well-known Senior Citizens have accused top mining firms of extorting Zambia’s mineral wealth for their own benefit. During a meeting with President Lungu they discussed the issue further.
Attendees included veteran politician and freedom fighter Sikota Wina, former ZCCM Chairman Francis Kaunda, former MMD Minister Peter Machungwa and Mr Yotam Kacham. All four charged that the international mining companies were not paying appropriate tax.
This comes shortly after the government has been widely criticised for increasing taxes to the point where a number of high-profile companies such as FQM, Verdanta, Glencore and Barrick declared it would be untenable to maintain operations. A situation that was set to leave many without employment.
The four men urged Lungu to conduct a ‘mineral audit’ to establish the extent of Zambia’s mineral wealth, and verify claims made that mines are unable to make profit with such high taxes.
Following their discussions Lungu announced that he has instructed the Secretary to Cabinet to review the way freedom fighters in the country are being looked after.
The President said he wants the welfare of Zambia’s freedom fighters improved due to the immense efforts they made in attaining freedom for the country.
He said Cabinet Office will have to identify genuine freedom fighters around the country so that government can look after them with the respect they deserve.
The senior citizens afterwards presented a bible to President Lungu to guide him in governing the country.