$750m for mining disappears from DRC state coffers
MORE than 20% of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) mining revenue is being lost due to corruption and mismanagement, according to the international NGO Global Witness.
The group says the money is being distributed through corrupt networks linked to embattled President Joseph Kabila.
Data from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reveals that between 2013 and 2015 over $750 million (R9.73 billion) paid by mining companies to Congo’s tax agencies and state mining companies never reached the national treasury.
The DRC’s mining revenue is reportedly paid to the state-owned mining company, Gecamines, the head of which is a close ally of Kabila – who has denied allegations of corruption and insisted the company is transparent.
The DRC is Africa’s biggest producer of copper, the world’s largest supplier of cobalt and is also rich in gold, diamonds and coltan, used in cellphones. But, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
The government has previously denied allegations of graft in its mining sector. Congo’s tax agencies are allowed, by law, to retain a percentage of the fines they levy, which has led to fabricated fines as they seek to inflate how much they can keep as their own funds.
The NGO says that from 2013 to 2015 the money not reaching the state coffers due to graft, mismanagement and ineffective taxation amounted to $1.3 billion.