Nkana Member of Parliament Mwenya Musenge is calling for government to immediately establish a mining communities development fund to benefit residents of mining areas. Warning that should government fail to establish the fund, people living in mining communities would have no option but to start agitating for it.
.....Many countries in the world have a development fund that benefits communities that live in mine areas. If we do not establish this fund in Zambia, even the mine developments that we are talking about like in North Western Province and Southern Province will not amount to anything.....There’s so much excitement for North Western Province but many years down the line, once the investors have made their profits and when there is no more mining to talk about, we’ll just be lamenting like we are doing for the Copperbelt.....the government should retain at least 40 per cent of the profits from the mines to benefit mining communities and cities....This money could be shared between the local authority for that particular town and communities surrounding the mine....A previous blog articulated the same concerns noting that in sharing the proceeds of mining expansion, for distributional reasons, we must first and foremost seek to deliver a favourable outcome to the Zambian miner and the local community. The remaining revenue can then be used by central government to fund strategic infrastructure. However, we also need to ensure that additional revenues are free from corrupt activities and are not mired in the web of bureaucracy. These two issues certainly looms large at both the central and government levels, and any new mechanism must deal successfully with both.