Hon Joseph Katema MP has warned the Governmment that Chingola residents are ready to challenge it in court over its failure to share mineral royalty collected from KCM with the local authority.
“Previously, we had development agreements signed by government with mining conglomerates but when we ushered in the Mining and minerals development amendment Act of 2008, it rendered the development agreements null and void, meaning all companies should abide by the new Act. In the Act, there is a provision in section 136 that there will be sharing of mineral royalty; it is collected by government. A percentage should go to the local council in which extraction of minerals is done...But from 2008 to date, Chingola Municipal Council has not received a single ngwee from mineral royalty tax collected from KCM (Konkola Copper Mines) and the people would like that money to come to the local council. We are ready as residents of Chingola to challenge government in the courts of law. We are ready to take them on in courts locally and even go to International Court of Justice,” he said. ‘Even Solwezi, it is entitled to mineral royalty which First Quantum through Lumwana is paying to government. It is the same with Mufulira, Kalulushi".The Mines and Mineral Development Act 2008 does have a provision for sharing mineral royalties but it does not specify who they should shared with. Para 136 simply states "The Minister responsible for Finance shall, in consultation with the Minister [responsible for Mines], a mineral royalty sharing scheme for distributing royalty revenues". It strikes that if the Government is guilty of anything its lack of implementation of the revenue mechanism. Its another case of our parliamentarians having fallen asleep at critical moments of drafting the Act. Nothing doubly new there.