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Alba Iulia
Friday, July 30, 2021

Tonga chiefs condemn mining in the lower Zambezi

General News Tonga chiefs condemn mining in the lower Zambezi

The Tonga Traditional Association has asked the government to revoke the mining Licence awarded to Mwembeshi Resources a subsidiary of the Zambezi Resources of Australia to start a large-scale open pit mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park as it will interfere with the environment culture, tradition and heritage for the people of Southern Province, says association president Dickson Namanza.

Namanza said that the decision by the Minister of Lands and Environmental Protection, Harry Kalaba to allow mining was irrational and it lacked consultation with various stakeholders who among them included the traditional leadership in the area.

Namanza said that as a traditionalist, his association was worried and concerned at the speed government was running to deplete the world’s heritage.

“We are concerned as people from Southern Province about the manoeuvre by the Minister of Lands Harry Kalaba to issue a mining licence in a National Park. We are wondering in whose interest they are issuing the licence? We ask this government to revoke the licence because it is not in the best interest of the people of Southern Province and Zambia in general,” Namanza said.

He said that it was shocking that government was insisting on starting a mine in the national park at the expense of a thriving wildlife.

“The Lower Zambezi National Park is our pride as Zambians, it is our pride as the people of Southern Province and we see no reason why government should allow people to mine in this area. There should be no displacement of animals in that national park.

Why can’t government ask the same investors to go to Munali Nickel mine in Mazabuka and continue with the mining project there rather than to start a new mine in the national park? We don’t want any further displacement of human beings and animals,” said Namanza.

He said that his association and traditional leaders in the region have protested the move, as it lacked support from the locals adding that politicians should learn to consult the locals, on matters of development.

“This is another fallen project by the PF; we shall not support it as it will destroy our tradition. That national park has a true meaning for the people of Southern Province and Western Zambia. We cannot compromise with our tradition. Let them go elsewhere with their money. We don’t need it,” said Namanza.

31 COMMENTS

  1. No longer at ease! You never can fool all the people all the time. The days of enjoying impunity by foreign investors are getting numbered.

  2. This Chief is just being political, Cauze only 25 percent of the land will be used for mining. The government must just go on whether this Chief likes it or not.

  3. Grand, you are a simpleton. The chiefs have a better understanding about what is critical for Zambia and its heritage. Copper is a wasting asset, never renewable. Our wildlife is critical for our generations to come and it must be preserved at any cost. Copper and Wildlife MUST be preserved for our future generations. The fact that the current and past GRZ governments have been unable to bring real benefits from mining to our country’s vast majority means that it is pointless to embark of more of the same poorly supervised mining activities. Why continue with the sector when we have failed to take care of the current mine firms?

    • @ mwanawanga
      what do benefit do you get from National parks ?
      How many people are employed directly to this National park.
      The major Forex earner for zambia is mining, what are you talking about,
      WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ?

    • Grand you are impossible to engage in a debate, but anyways, a few tips may be of help to you:
      1. We are not the last generation in Zambia to exploit every resource now
      2. Environmental issues are key in today’s world in the face of global climate change, hence the need to assess long term benefit against short term benefits, which you minister is clearly not willing to consider
      3. Radioactive waste which will be generated at this mean as a country for the next few years to come we have no capacity to handle, and the health implications for the locals is immerse to even think about.
      4. As a nation a long term economic strategy is to move away from mining to more sustainable economic ventures and tourism is key to that together with Agriculture, but said that PF is killing both

    • @Grand, it’s your choice as a country not to get jobs and revenue from tourism. Kenya and a host other countries are reaping from tourism. Kenya makes the same amount from tourism as Zambia does but Za,bia loses out because of the negative impacts of mining. Zambia has even more tourist attraction to show but has decided to sit on them and now beginning to destroy them. These investors are simply coming to Zed to make money and take the resources to China leaving a trail of destruction. Every well meaning Zambia must stand against such wrong decision.

  4. @ grand, mayb u hv nt stayd in mining twn, i tel u it iz bad experience bcz kafue river statin frm chilis iz poluted @ expenses of mining. let uz information wen comentin. minin in national park is non starta

  5. It is heartening to hear Tonga traditionalists declare against the mining for they are the true guardians of the ‘ecological state’. In 2008 a declaration against mining was signed by 17 chiefs of the Zambezi Basin, including Chiawa, Chipepo, Simamba, Sinadambwe, Mpuka and Mburuma. This appears to have been forgotten for we are told by government and Zambezi Resources Limited that now the chiefs and their people support mining but without producing any evidence. The Tonga sikatongo, the earth priests, need to be listened to. Remember that 70,000 Tonga were displaced by Kariba and now live in strange places without compensation. Zambia has much to learn from them.

  6. If chiefs cannot be listened to, then whom will government listen to apart from itself? We all know that the motivation for government to implement development projects is political mileage while that for chiefs is long ternm sustainability for their people. I would trust the chiefs opinion.

  7. How can a protected area that has wildlife integrate with mining? What if something happens and toxic waste ends up in the Zambezi river? That is the life source of not only Zambia but neighbouring countries. People, animals, even tourists will all be affected. This is a site that UNESCO is to claim as a world heritage site. Mining is not sustainable and no such thing as Green Mining. It only lasts for so long while wildlife and tourism can last forever and if managed properly can benefit the economy and create jobs. Africa always get’s the short end of the stick just with other mining projects that have left them even more poor. This is what Glencore did to that affected millions. Please watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uamzirLswjk

  8. @ I.P.A Manning!
    I asked you your rules for mining in the Parks which u said where not followed and you never responded.
    You are a foreigner living in Tanzania being heavily bankrolled for these funny campaigns but i told you that “ZAMBIA IS FOR ZAMBIANS AND NOT HYENAS” We wont allow the people of Luangwa and Chiawa to continue wallowing in poverty at the expense of you and your campaign colleagues . The will of the poor people will prevail and all of you are just wasting your time and you will certainly just manage to delay the process but soon you will be history cause the Mine has been approved and it will proceed.
    What tangible development have you both White & Black Tour Operators taken to the area apart from “POACHING”?

  9. @Grand & Muzo u r useless human BEINGS.

    GOD created man to USE and PROTECT the earthly resourse ANIMALS INCLUSIVE.

    Its INHUMAN to open a mine where the animals find shelter.
    EVEN ITS CORRUPTION SOMETHINGS we shuold ve RESTRAINT on, the reason we go to school.
    Educated have to DEFEND THE IGNORANT. We cant LIVE LIKE this.

    Whn I mean EDUCATED I MEAN people who can REASON like these CHIEFS and other on this forum e.g CrossRoads and others.

  10. Yes mining is destructive but its revenue will help develop the local Chiawa area and Zambia as a country. Kangaluwi is 40 kms away from the prime area and WILL NOT interfere with tourism activities. Tourism currently offers casual and very low paying jobs in LZ and very few locals are employed in these camps. I may sound unrealistic but I know that most of you opposing mining are purely protecting your businesses. I would do the same if i were in your shoes. Simple selfish motives. I looked at the websites for camps inside LZ Nat. Park and no native Zambian can afford to stay at these camps. So shocking. This is reality pertaining on the ground.

  11. All comments here are two sides of the same coin. Before 1983, LZNP was a preserve of 1 man – President of Zambia. From 1983, the park has seen some developments 99% of which are along the Zambezi river. Most investors are white (foreigners) and here to make profits. The park is not just for the people of Chiawa who are mainly employed as ill paid cooks, cleaners and if more, then drivers. In short, very little tangible benefit filters down to the local communities who gave up their ancentral land for a national park. Remember, this area belonged to locals who used to collect Masuku, mashroom, wood, thatching grass and fish from streams. As for now who be is benefiting more? Are we to preserve it for white to enjoy? Mining too has it’s negatives so lets fight for a balance.

  12. This issue needs a commission of inquiry to get perceptions of all stake holders as it will affect future developments. There is always tension between environmental protection and development.

  13. But LT you are disappointing me….. I earlier did a STINKER on this topic yesterday which you have flushed out! I wanted to pull some strings on here.

  14. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE BECAUSE THAT IS THEIR LAND. IF YOU HAVE THE LAND GIVE THOSE FAKE INVENTORS.

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