KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
MMD youths have hailed efforts by Government to empower Zambian citizens through small-scale mining.
National youth secretary Bowman Lusambo said freedom fighters attained political independence in 1964 and that this generation has to work towards economic and social emancipation.
â€œWe firmly believe that Zambia will attain social and economic development solely, by the efforts of its own people and as much as we support foreign direct investment, we believe that local investment by local Zambians will spur further development,â€ he said.
Mr Lusambo said in a statement that the turbulence going on in the mining sector where some foreign-owned mines are being placed on care and maintenance could be avoided if the majority of the mines were owned by indigenous Zambians.
He said the developments in Chingola on the Copperbelt where Tikumbe Mining Limited is undertaking small-scale mining are welcome and commendable.
â€œWe are alive to the many obstacles and challenges Government faced when arriving at the decision to hand over the mine to Tikumbe Mining Limited,â€ he said.
He also said it has always baffled MMD as to why Zambia has never had indigenous mine owners even after many years of mining history.
â€œTikumbe is a good example of what local Zambians can do once they are given an opportunity. The mine has provided employment for local Zambians,â€ he said.
Mr Lusambo said what is even more gratifying is that the mine has since started ploughing back into the local community through a vigorous corporate social responsibility programme.
â€œWe further commend the new management under its chief executive officer Mr Ibrahim Yousuf, who has committed himself to ensuring that the mine is back to production and the proceeds generated from the mine are shared with the local communities,â€ he said.
Mr Lusambo also said that if Zambia has to produce mining magnates, who will own huge mining conglomerates, it has to start now with deliberate policies and strategies as demonstrated by President Lungu and Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma.
He said indigenous Zambians have over the years developed the required skills necessary to run a mining operation.
â€œIt therefore follows that Government must continue on its path to support and empower local people that are making efforts to run such operations,â€ he said.