By MOFFAT CHAZINGWA -
GOVERNMENT is concerned that youths have continued to involve themselves in illegal mining in the country and has asked mining houses to tailor some of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes towards creating employment for youths.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Deputy Minister Stephen Kampyongo said Government was saddened to see how the country had continued to lose youths through illegal mining.
Mr Kampyongo said this in Chingola on Wednesday when he and members of the Copperbelt Joint-Defence Security Committee toured Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to discuss matters of security concerning mining operations.
The deputy minister said Government was greatly disturbed at how unscrupulous individuals involved in illegal mining were engaging youths to go to abandoned mine sites to get copper ore which they were exporting through dubious means.
“Illegal miners are now sharing copper ore with mining companies and as Government we want this to come to an end because it’s a drawback not only to the mining operations but also the economy as a whole,” he said.
Mr Kampyongo said Government was determined to address the problem and to this effect, had deployed more security officers to mine areas to help curb illegal mining and bring sanity to mining operations.
He, however, said Government was alive to the fact that youths were faced with employment challenges that were causing them to engage in bad vices such as illegal mining.
“So it is our request to the mine houses to try and look at corporate social responsibility programmes that will take on board the youth and provide them with source of livelihood,” he said.
Mr Kampyongo was confident that cases of illegal mining involving the youth would reduce if the mine houses could only absorb them.