The continued diamond smuggling investigation of the Israeli-Russian Diamond Baron Lev Leviev by the Israeli authorities should make the Government of the Republic of Zambia also institute serious investigation and review his investment at Gemcanton emerald mine formerly Grizzly Mining Ltd on the copperbelt.
Mr El Nefussy a representative of Levi Levieve was deported by the Government of the Republic of Zambia in 2017 for purportedly engaging in serious human rights abuses at Gemcanton mine. Unfortunately, no serious arrests were made to make him unwearable to the law for subjecting the poor Zambians to inhuman torture at Gemcanton before a deportation decision could be arrived at. Government opted to deport him, and that decision has not set any disciplinary precedence to would be offenders.
To date,the issue of torture and human rights abuses at Gemcanton by Levi Levieve’s team has not been adequately addressed.
Many of the victims complain that government has not punished the offenders and feel such a precedence would escalate related acts in future. Zambia is among the African countries where the world diamond baron Leviev has massively invested in emerald mining with very little corporate social responsibility (CSO) going to the poor people of Chief Nkana and Lumpuma area where the emerald mine sits as was the case when the investment was wholly owned by Abdoulaye Ndyaye.
Apart from a lack of CSR, Zambia has been a victim of dishonest by many of the foreign investors who come in and ignore the plight of the local people.
The question of Zambians benefiting from some of the investors coming in the country is becoming a thorny one, as locals seem not to benefit. Whether or not some investors are worth hosting in Zambia has become a National debate. People are wondering whether some companies are genuinely investors or coming in to exploit the country’s resources.
Very serious government’s like Israel have investigated some diamond tycoons like Leviev with very little to leave unturned. The Zambian government , like Israeli government should consider thoroughly investigating Levi Levieve’s investment in Zambia.
What is worrying is a lack CSR at Gemcanton from the time Leveiev came on board as a share holder yet the company is making millions of dollars.
Additionally, the restrictions of the local people to the Gemcanton dumpsite has adversely affected the poor Zambians who were known to survive on such dumpsites at the time Gemcanton was called Grizzly Mines under Abdalaye Ndyaye .
It is the local people’s considered view that the speed at which government has let go of the black mountain in Kitwe for the benefits of the local people is the same speed at which government should influence Gemcanton mines management to allow the local people who are currently receiving nothing from Gemcanton under Leviev .
When Honorable Bowman Lusambo was Copperbelt Minister, Gemcanton was restrained and started making headways towards restoring CSR, but upon his transfer to Lusaka, many of the strides made at Gemcanton were buried to the disadvantage of the locals.
There is fear that if government does review Leviev’s investments at Gemcanton, the people of Zambia will benefit nothing from the emerald mine investment.
While government is seriously looking at the empowerment of the local people in mining industries , it is the people’s considered view that the shares of Leviev at Gemcanton are reviewed to benefit the lower people .
Lack of regard for the local people in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility and unfair trading habits have made different stakeholders wonder whether there is serious scrutiny of some foreign investors’ investment record before they can be allowed to invest in Zambia by the powers that be.
Issued by: Chilufya Mubanga