By IREEN MULENGA
Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ)President Victor Kalesha has called on Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Paul Kabuswe to prioritize empowering small scale miners in the gemstone mining as opposed to giving directives to individual mines like Grizzly and Kagem mines to tar a road.
Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe gave a directive to Kagem and Grizzly Mine respectively to collaborate and tar the over 40 kilometers road which connects the Emerald Restricted Area to Kalulushi and Kitwe Districts which is in a deplorable state.
“The Minister priority should be empowering local Zambians interns of small scale miners, but if their priority is to tar a road instead of awakening up the giant sleeping miners then we have lost it. The Minister should do the familiarization tour to big mines and not small scale mines that have not taken off,” he said.
Mr Kalesha said the Minister should focus on resuscitating production in the respective mines which in return will benefit small scale miners and Zambians at large.
He said the two mines cannot tar a government gazetted road and they pay all the necessary tax required.