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STATE House is not being used by UPND cadres to fraudulently issue mining licenses through the Mines Cadaster and wantonly abuse the mineral register, Paul Kabuswe, the Minister of Mines has said.

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Mr Kabuswe has assured that the Mines Cadaster was intact and that speculations that some UPND cadres through State House and some officials from the Ministry of Mines were corruptly issuing mining licenses were not true.

Mr Kabuswe said while there could be a possibility that some senior government officials in the Ministry Mines could be misbehaving and engaging in corruption, it was incorrect to suggest that such officials in connivance with some UPND cadres could be using State House.

He has categorically stated that there was no way State House could be used by any citizen to commit illegalities, stating that President Hakainde Hichilema had clearly pronounced himself that those who transgress the law, irrespective of their political or social status would be on their own.

Mr Kabuswe said the Mines Cadaster was intact and uninvaded and that as Minister in charge of the Mines, he would ensure the matter was thoroughly investigated and that if any of the officials would be found wanting, they would have to atone to their iniquities by facing the wrath of the law.  

He as the Minister in charge of Mines and Minerals Development, he had the powers to overturn any decision that could have resulted into fraudulent issuance of mining licences.

“Let me say this…I can categorically tell you that State House can never be used to commit illegalities. President Hichilema has clearly pronounced himself that those who transgress the law, irrespective of their political affiliation or social status are on their own. I can tell you that the Mines Cadaster is intact, undefiled and unviolated.”

“Of course in country, not all are going to be angels and my message to those who are misbehaving and are corruptly issuing mining licenses is that action will be taken.  And if there are any particular mining licenses holders who are being mistreated or unfairly treated, let them know that the appellant office is the office of the Minister. I have the powers to overturn any corruptly obtained license. So let us no involve State House in this,” Mr Kabuswe said.  

The Minister explained that if there were people who were being mistreated over their genuinely obtained mining licenses or applications and were aggrieved, the procedure was for the affected to seek the intervention of the office of the Minister.

He said if mining licenses applicants were feeling that they were not getting fair treatment from the Cadaster or the Licensing Committee, his Ministry was open to all inquiries and complaints.

“I will look at the merits and demerits of the complainants and I will go down to finds out who could be misbehaving because that is the only way you can catch a thief. This is a transparent government and illegalities shall not be tolerated or condoned,” Mr Kabuswe said.   

Social media was awash yesterday with claims that some UPND cadres have literally taken over the running of the Mines Cadaster at the Ministry of Mines and are allegedly cashing in by conniving with foreigners in the issuance of mining licenses.  

It was reported that two named UPND cadres were claiming to have connections with State House and were in other instances impersonating officers of the Zambia intelligence Security Services (ZISS) Special Division and were conniving with foreigners in the issuance of mining licenses.



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