NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe
STAKEHOLDERS in the mining sector have welcomed the decision by President Lungu to constitute a ministerial committee that will come up with reforms aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in the sector.
On Thursday, President Lungu said Government will come up with reforms which will facilitate monitoring and periodical review of the mining houses to curb cheating by mine owners.
The Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ),National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and the Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) have all pledged to support the ministerial committee that will be constituted to undertake the mining reforms.
MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said in an interview yesterday that the union is happy with the decision made by President Lungu to constitute the ministerial committee to monitor mining activities.
Mr Chishimba, however, said the terms of reference for the committee should be made clear and that it should be accountable to the members of the public especially that it is dealing with issues of resources in the mining sector.
“We welcome this ministerial committee but what we want to see are the terms of reference put in place for this ministerial committee,” he said.
And NUMAW national treasury Saul Simujika called on Government to quickly constitute the committee so that it can start work.
Mr Simujika said the committee should comprise people that are conversant with activities in the mining sector.
“Let Government bring on board the people that understand the operations of the mining sector in this committee. We have people that used to work in the mines under the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) and we feel they should be brought on board,” he said.
And ESMAZ president Victor Kalesha said the association is ready to provide Government with relevant information on the activities in the emerald sector.