ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
VARIOUS stakeholders have called on Government to put in place policies that will curb the growing scale of illicit financial flows from the extractive industry.
Recently, stakeholders from the Church, civil society and communities that host mining companies held the sixth Zambia Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) to deliberate on the cost and benefits of extractive industries and their significance to sustainable development.
ZAMI representative Eneya Maseko said enacting policies such as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Bill and the legalisation of illegal mining activities being spearheaded by local communities will create jobs and help generate income for the treasury.
“We recommend that Government puts in place, as a matter of urgency, a clear set of policies and laws on capitalisation and ring fencing to address the erosion of the revenue base of the country and curb the growing scale of illicit financial flows from Zambia’s vast extractive industry to enable the country mobilise adequate domestic revenue,” Mr Maseko said.
He commended Zambia’s EITI-compliance, which has produced eight reconciliation reports that detail the payments by the mining companies and receipts by Government.
“However, we are displeased that the increasing levels of transparency in the extractive sector have not amounted to the desired level of accountability of the usage of these resources,” Mr Maseko said.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders have called on Government to raise its shares in the mining operations and allocate a fraction to local communities.
They advised that proceeds from shares should be channelled towards a community trust fund to provide sustainable and alternative income sources for the people.