By SILUMESI MALUMO
WE will strategically place experts in all mining companies to ascertain and monitor the minerals that are being exported, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga has said.
Mr Mulenga said the ministry had already written to relevant authorities for approval so that the process could start.
He said in an interview yesterday that the ministry was given a policy direction to go ahead with the programme.
Mr Mulenga was reacting to sentiments by mining expert, Edward Simukonda, who proposed that Government must come up with a plan to place spies in extractive companies to ascertain minerals in blisters extracted and exported.
Mr Simukonda had said this was because the country was losing billions through cheating.
The 2019 Financial Intelligence Centre report revealed that some mines in Zambia were repatriating proceeds to offshore jurisdictions while declaring losses to evade tax.
The report also disclosed that some precious stones and base metals that were exported to foreign jurisdictions were undervalued.
Mr Simukonda said it would be a brilliant idea to place spies in mines because investors had been cheating over their production and the minerals they were extracting.
But Mr Mulenga said Government was aware and that was the reason for considering to come up with such a programme.
He said once the relevant authorities give a policy direction on how the programme should be undertaken, people who would be engaged to undergo orientation.
“What you will be interested to know is that we are awaiting for approval then the people that will be engaged to be in the mines will be subjected to an orientation process.
“This has been our position as government, so as government we are aware of what the stakeholders are talking about and we are on top of things,” Mr Mulenga said.
By SILUMESI MALUMO