By Silumesi Malumo
THE economy is bleeding while Zambians watch foreigners loot the available resources, such as gold to enrich their own countries, Citizens Democratic Party (CDP) president Robert Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said it was sad that a country that was abundantly blessed with resources could enter into continued economic melt- down when foreign states were using its resources to recover.
“We are watching for- eigners get our resources, our gold and other min- erals which they are using to recover their own econ- omies while we continue suffering,” he said in an interview.
Mr Mwanza said calls to create a marshall plan for gold mining and how it could meaningfully benefit locals should be taken seri- ously.
And government says it is dismayed with exploita- tion of small-scale miners by foreigners who are buy- ing gold at as low as K250 per gram when the com- modity can fetch as much as K1, 000 per gram.
Mines and Mineral De- velopment Minister, Rich- ard Musukwa, said that foreigners had invaded the gold areas where small- scale miners were operat- ing and were offering K250 per gram.
Mr Musukwa said the miners should not be swayed with such a low rate because they were being exploited by the foreigners.
He said in an interview that it was prudent that all miners sold gold to ZC- CM-IH which was offering K1, 000 per gram.
“This morning ( Wednes- day) I was actually firefight- ing where they are selling per gram K250, ZCCM-IH is buying at K1, 000 per gram.
“So our people must en- sure that at all times that they sell to legitimate en- tities such as ZCCM-IH which is buying at the agreed market price and make sure that our people have value for their prod- ucts,” he said.
The minister however said Government had de- ployed security officers in the Eastern Province to flush out foreigners who were illegally exploiting gold.
“The resource need to benefit the local people and not foreigners who are involved in smuggling especially from the neigh- bouring countries,” he said.
Mr Musukwa said Gov- ernment had placed a higher premium on gold mining in ensuring that Zambians exploited the re- source.
By Silumesi Malumo