Tuesday, July 03, 2012
By David Chongo in Mufumbwe
Tue 03 July 2012, 13:23 CAT
GOVERNMENT has accepted a proposal for chiefs to establish mining investments held in trust for their local communities, says chief Chipepo of the Tonga people of Chirundu.
Chief Chipepo said the government was willing to nurture the initiative by chiefs to form companies limited by guarantees where shares were majority-accrued to traditional leaders and their people.
Speaking as a guest of chief Mukumbi Kizela at the host's Ntongo traditional ceremony of the Kaonde in Mufumbwe on Saturday, chief Chipepo said the firms would be known singularly as 'Chiefdom Foundation Company Ltd'.
He said the government had positively received the initiative through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and had asked chiefs in North Western Province to locate sites they wanted to apply for in their chiefdoms for which they would be given priority in choosing.
Chief Chipepo said former diplomat Mulondwe Muzungu, who is also a director in Mufumbwe-based Euro Africa Kalengwa Mine, would spearhead establishment of the initiative for chief Kizela's people.
He said people in the province were sleeping on wealth but were poor, saying the spirit of poverty needed to be "rebuked" in a region where local people were living in deficiency despite "sleeping on copper".
Chief Chipepo revealed that he was overjoyed by the PF's pronouncement to put more money in the pockets of the people and challenged locals to fully embrace the government's goodwill and engage foreign financiers who were waiting to bankroll the projects pending completion of procedural documentation.
"God gave you the mines with the copper and you have to make sure that you do what you want to do with the copper. So you can see that the chiefs are not just watching the copper going to other people. The government wants to empower the people of Zambia," said chief Chipepo, amid applause from the audience which included several regional traditional leaders.