MMD president Nevers Mumba says there is absolutely no moral reason to give the gold mining opportunity that God has given Zambia to foreigners.

He said there is not sensible justification for government to hand over the mining of gold to a Sudanese company.

Mumba has insisted that the decision by government to have a joint venture between ZCCM-IH and Karma investments of Sudan over the gold mining prospects was a scandal.

“There is absolutely no moral reason for us to rash to give the gold opportunity that God have given to us to some foreigners…there is absolutely no justification. That decision that has been made by government to give that mine to Karma in partnership with ZCCM-IH, we demand as MMD and on behalf of all Zambians in all provinces that have risen up against this decision that government must reverse this decision,” Mumba said.

Mumba, a renowned clergy and tele-evangelist and former Republican vice-president, said government had been allowed to play with minerals like Copper, Cobalt, Zinc, Emeralds but this would not be entertained this time.

He said Gold was different mineral and a standard of currencies around the world, which if placed in the central bank of any country would determine one’s wealth.

He added that the debt which government was trying to hire a consultant to solve for the country would be resolved by the gold that Zambia has.

“It’s the standard, if you have gold, you can pay any debt. I am happy government has called it a strategic asset but that does not mean you throw it on the market for anybody who has money, which they acquired in questionable manners. This, my fellow colleagues in government, must not be an asset to be entreated like we treated the Mukula tree, like we treated the copper, like we treated everything that God has given to us with an attitude of nalalyamo finshi (what will I benefit from it). I know the one who has to buy, has he deposited money in my foreign account before he gets this contract?…not gold, gold is ours.”

Mumba said Zambians have clearly indicated that they do not a foreigner involved in the gold.

He lamented that government was failing to understand that Zambians had rejected the involvement of foreigners in the mining of gold.

“When Zambians decide, they have decided and if you go contrary to what they are saying…you are a short lived government. They will let you push it until the next election but they are not going to change on this matter as they want us to do this ourselves even if we make mistakes, even if it takes us a long time to learn how to do it and to fund this sector, it’s still ours. Umwine musunga talamba minwe,” Mumba said. “We are going to take our time until we make it work and if we lack any expertise in extracting gold, we can go and hire somebody within Africa who is better than us. Go to Ghana, they handle gold, go to DRC, they handle gold and we can’t find somebody within Africa, we can go out to another country and pay them here, we employ him to do a specific job but it’s us in control.”

Mumba noted that Zambians do not believe that there was transparency in the manner the deal had been given to Karma.

He said that public policy demands that it was not what government thinks but the perception of the population that determines whether they go with you or not.

Mumba said as it stands, Zambians’ perception was that the awarding of the licenses to foreigners had been done at a cost and was being interpreted into bribery of some PF officials.

He said Zambians would like a more transparent way.

“Whether it’s true or not, the perception says that. I advise that let’s start right with confidence and support of all Zambians. This is a strategic asset that can get us out of all debt and make us the richest nation on the continent of Africa. Let’s not mismanage it, let’s not use our political positions to jeopardise the bright future for our people who have wallowed in poverty on top of the soil that holds gold and is the womb of some of the most precious metals that the world has ever claimed to have. Zambians are mature enough to look after our assets but if we fail in one way, we will ask for help but those people will only come to help and we will be the drivers of this ship,” Mumba said.

He recalled that two years ago, he made a statement concerning Konkola Copper Mines over concepts of looking for an international investor to take over.

He said there is a feeling of inadequacy in Zambians over KCM – that the “indigenous can’t do it but a white skinned person or a foreigner from another country would do it better”.

To the contrary, Mumba said after mismanaging Zambia’s copper, it was time for the country to solve its own problems.

“We are supposed to be one of the richest nations on earth because of the abundance of copper. We are number three at the worst, sometimes we are number two world producer of copper. We are not a poor country but we have mismanaged the sector because we have always felt that somebody else from another country has a better interest in this country, so ‘let’s give them our assets and they will give us change’. It is no longer the position; there is greed all over the world so what God gives you as Zambia, keep it,” Mumba said.

He warned government not to be in a hurry to cut deals so that they get a percentage at the expense of Zambians.


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