An audit of mining firms operating in Zambia has revealed that some firms were operating without being registered as businesses, a situation that was depriving the country of colossal sums of money in taxes, a senior government official said on Monday.
Paul Kabuswe, the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development said the audit has revealed some fraudulent activities by some firms that were operating without business licenses despite being granted mining rights by the ministry.
He said some firms that have been given mining rights have not bothered to obtain business licenses from the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) as required by law.
“I want to say that this is pure fraud and corruption and also making government lose revenue,” he told journalists during a press briefing.
The ministry, he said, will institute investigations to establish how the firms obtained mining rights without having business licenses, warning that all those found wanting will face the wrath of the law.
Last month, the government imposed a 30-day suspension on the issuance of mining licenses which run from February 23 to March 23 following reports of corruption in the issuance process.
The minister said the suspension has been extended by another 14 days after the audit revealed more irregularities in which some companies had multiple licenses using the same names. Enditem