In another reversal of late Michael Sata policies, President Edgar Lungu’s government last week allowed the auctioning of the Zambian emeralds in Singapore.
Money has clearly exchanged hands here.
High placed sources within PF revealed that the auctioning will be done in Singapore in a move that has angered Kagem employees on the Copperbelt.
At a time the Kwacha is on a free falling, one would have expected auctioning in Zambia would have helped a little bit in bringing in foreign exchange and stabilise the Kwacha.
Lungu has been undoing all Sata projects and is now following former President Rupiah Banda and his sons that have taken over the party.
President Michael Sata had banned Gemfields Plc, the biggest emerald producer, from sending Zambian stones to Singapore or anywhere outside Zambia for auction on concern the sale would shift revenues overseas.
Sata’s government directed that all auctioning of emeralds be held in Zambia, arguing that their sale in foreign markets contributes to capital flight. The government in a statement said the directive was designed at promoting transparency and accountability in the marketing of emeralds, stimulate local demand for emeralds, create more opportunities for small-scale miners to have access to colored gemstone markets, and increase tourism.
“Zambian gemstones have for a long time been sold on foreign markets, a situation that has contributed to capital flight and denied Zambians of the much needed benefits from the resource,” Yamfwa Mukanga, Zambia mining minister, said in the statement.
Kagem later sold the precious stones in Zambia and made huge sums of money to the benefit of Zambia.