By Mwenya Mofya,
MINES and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe says there will be transparency in the issuance of licenses to operate at the black mountain copper slug on the Copperbelt Province.
Kabuswe said the ‘black mountain’ would only be given to Zambians who have applied and have licenses.
Responding to allegations that government has secretly engaged a Chinese national to take over the black mountain copper slug, Kabuswe said people were just peddling lies to destroy his name.
“I have seen that and I am aware but there is no such thing as that. The black mountain will be given to Zambians who have applied and have licenses. There will be no Jerabos but there will only be small scale miners.
Whatever those allegations are, they are fake and are coming from enemies of progress. There is nothing like that. In fact, to prove those characters wrong, we have not yet even given licenses for those that have applied.
The License Committee has not even sat to discuss that. So that is just born out of malice and people who want to destroy other people’s names. Otherwise, there is no such thing. That is the position,” he said.
“There will be no one who will be sidelined as long as they deserve to be there. So the assurance is that there is transparency about the issue of small scale miners everywhere in the country and not just the black mountain. We are a transparent government and corruption is something we do not tolerate.
I think the people peddling such lies are those that want to call us corrupt otherwise there is no such thing as that. I do not even know that Chinese they are talking about. All I know is that we are supposed to give it to Zambians who deserve to be there and that is all.”
Kabuswe said the Licensing Committee would soon discuss the matter on how licenses would be issued.
“The Licensing Committee should have sat yesterday. The committee is drawn from members from various institutions and places. So they could not constitute a quorum and that is why they never met. They should have met on Monday but we are pushing that they meet this week so that this thing is done.
When it is done it will be very transparent and discussions will involve all interested parties and how the mining activities are going to be done. There is nothing hidden about it,” said Kabuswe.