One of the hallmarks of Kenneth Kaunda’s tenure in office was the nationalisation of Zambia’s large-scale copper mines. Yet after the Matero Reforms of 1969, which purported to empower Zambians through the public ownership and management of the country’s largest export industry, President Kaunda and his colleagues curiously decided to partner with a foreign investor (Hagura Mining) in the 1980s to develop the emerald mining sector in Ndola Rural (now Lufwanyama), while Zambian artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) were sidelined. Drawing upon archival documents, newspaper coverage, and a select number of interviews, this paper seeks to examine this apparent shift in mining governance under Kenneth Kaunda. Instead of facilitating financial access or establishing an equipment hire scheme for ASM, the Reserved Minerals Corporation – a subsidiary of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) –sought to restrict access to emerald deposits and preferred partnering with a foreign investor. These decisions were largely attributable to the “prevailing wisdom” at the time regarding mineral extraction (i.e. a preference for large-scale mining that can be more easily taxed and regulated) and the foreign exchange crunch of the 1980s. By prioritising large-scale production, Zambian policymakers undermined their own stated developmental goals that aimed at diversification and empowerment - both of which ASM would have facilitated - and entrenched an economic model that was dependent on foreign investment. Unfortunately, this model’s failure continues to have reverberations for emerald mining in Lufwanyama today.
Caramento, Alexander and Siwale-Mulenga, Agatha
"Elusive Empowerment: Emerald Mining in Ndola Rural under Kenneth Kaunda’s One-Party State,"
Zambia Social Science Journal: Vol. 9:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/zssj/vol9/iss1/3