The Centre for Trade Policy Development (CTPD) is calling on government and mining companies to enhance transparency in the mining sector by increasing Beneficial Ownership Disclosure (BOD).
CTPD Legal Researcher, Luyando Muloshi, in a statement issued on Wednesday in Lusaka said the mining sector is an essential sector for the Zambian economy, contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and providing employment to thousands of Zambians.
Muloshi said the sector has however long been plagued by a lack of transparency, with ownership structures often shrouded in secrecy.
She said in many instances it has been difficult to ascertain with accuracy individuals who own, control or benefit from mining companies.
Muloshi said this lack of transparency can lead to corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and misappropriation of resources.
“In recent years, there has been a growing global consensus that transparency in the mining sector is essential for promoting good governance and ensuring that citizens benefit from their country’s natural resources,” she said.
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Muloshi said while Zambia through the Companies Act of 2017 introduced provisions requiring companies to disclose their beneficial owners, CTPD believes that more legislative reform needs to be done to ensure that the mining sector operates in a transparent and accountable manner.
She is urging the government to go further and make beneficial ownership disclosure mandatory for all companies operating in the mining sector, and to impose harsh penalties for failure to do so.
“This would include revising the Mines and Mineral Development Act (the “Mines Act”) to include an obligation requiring mining companies to disclose information about the individuals who own, control or benefit from their operations in Zambia to the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and to provide evidence of such compliance,” Muloshi said.
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