By SILUMESI MALUMO
SECURITY at gold sites has been stepped up with more security personnel being deployed to flush out foreigners who have invaded the areas and engaging in illegal activities, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Richard Musukwa has said.
Mr Musukwa said Zambia is a country of laws and those who want to engage in any kind of mining activities were supposed to follow the laid down procedures.
He said the government cannot tolerate those who had a tendency of abrogating the laws, and all those found wanting would be dealt with accordingly.
He said in an interview yesterday the government would ensure that security was tightened in all areas where there were gold deposits so that those involved in illegalities are arrested.
Mr Musukwa was reacting to Senior Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people’s lamentations that the Ministry of Mines was sleeping that was why foreigners had invaded gold sites.
The traditional leader said if the ministry was active enough, all those involved in illegal activities would have been arrested.
But Mr Musukwa said his ministry was alert and many of those involved in illegal gold mining had been dealt with accordingly.
He said that government had identified gold as a strategic reserve and it would not allow any illegality because the resource would be depleted.
“We are not going to allow foreigners to come to our country and start stealing the minerals meant for the Zambian people.
This resource is very cardinal to the country’s economy which would help change the welfare of the Zambians as well as that of the country.