Foreign companies are said to be digging oil in Northwestern and Western provinces but pretending that they are still exploring.
Intelligence sources have told the Watchdog that the digging of oil and exportation is done with support of named government officials.
Traces of oil were discovered in the two provinces in 2007 after Preliminary geological surveys were conducted in the provinces that share borders with oil rich Angola.
In 2009, the government issued an international tender for oil companies to explore 23 blocks in its North-Western, Western and Eastern provinces.
According to Maxwell Mwale who was the minister responsible that time, the exploration companies were only expected to determine the size of the reserves and whether they are commercially viable since the presence had already been established.
“This is what the oil exploration companies will do. To establish how much oil is present and whether it can be explored for commercial purposes,” Minister Mwale told SANF in an interview.
But since that time, no company has told government what exactly they found. Instead, the ‘exploration’ companies have been asking for more time while others have been abandoning the ‘exploration’.
But intelligence sources have now revealed that the so called exploration companies are actually mining companies that are digging oil in Zambia while bribing government officials to shut up.
According to the sources, the oil is being mined along the Angolan borders and is being transported through Angolan channels to avoid suspicion in Zambia.
ZWD will soon release the list of foreign companies currently digging oil in Zambia.