GOLD Mining Cooperatives in Rufunsa are excited by President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncement that they will receive equipment and sales will be liberalised. The cooperatives have also requested to mine in the national parks where there is more gold. They have vowed that they will not allow foreigners to “steal” their God given resource. And President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncement that gold cooperatives be allowed to deal with any genuine buyers and not only ZCCM-IH have elated the artisanal miners. Rufunsa’s Chimwetu Gold Mining Cooperative Chairman, Emmanuel Tembo said the pronouncement was an indication that Government was serious with uplifting lives of Zambians.
What Emmanuel Tembo said…
“We are also elated to note that our two cooperatives, Chimwetu and Pokela will each receive their own equipment soon. This will help promote self-sufficiency in each group especially that we now have a wider market,” said Mr Tembo.
He however appealed to government to allow them go further and mine the deposits in the national park. Mr Tembo disclosed that during his recent visit to Rufunsa, President Lungu said assured the cooperatives that they were not restricted to only deal with ZCCM-IH. He said the Presidential assurance excited all cooperatives who initially thought that ZCCM-IH would monopolise the business in the area. Mr Tembo said that if the cooperatives were allowed to sell the gold to the best buyer then this would enable them to make favorable bargains. According to him, allowing for the market forces to determine the price of the commodity would enable the cooperatives to gain real value for the commodity. Mr Tembo also said the assurance by the President on the handover of the gold mining equipment was exciting. He however appealed to government to ensure that foreigners were removed from Rufunsa, saying that they were depriving the locals of their God-given wealth. “We are also elated to note that our two cooperatives, Chimwetu and Pokela will each receive their own equipment soon. This will help to promote self-sufficiency in each group especially that we now have a wider market,” said Mr Tembo. And Senior Headman Nyampande, John Mamba has requested the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development and ZCCM-IH to give a clear roadmap regarding the formation of cooperatives for gold hosting communities to be engaged in the mining of the resource,. Bishop Mambo said Zambians were yearning to form cooperatives but were not guided on how it should be done. He said in an interview yesterday, it was important for the ministry and the relevant authorities mandated to oversee gold mining to give a clear picture on how the communities can be engaged in the mining of the resource. Bishop Mambo said only few cooperatives had been formed in the area because the communities had no proper information of how they could obtain the legal documents for them to start mining. Meanwhile Senior Headman Nyampande said it was unfortunate that he was not even approached by ZCCM-IH when it was putting the gold processing plant in his area. “How can the local people be employed if the ZCCM-IH has put a processing plant in my area and they have not approached me,” he said.