Residents of Kaundu and Miseshi communities in Mpelembe ward are in a dispute with Zain Amir, the owner of Nsofu Ranch, over access to the Luombwa River for fishing.
The residents who are a fishing community claim that Nsofu Ranch Manager Sandra Bwembya and scouts who work at the Ranch deny them access to fish in the Luombwa River adding that their fishing nets, boats and other personal belongings are often confiscated.
Speaking during a meeting held at Miseshi Primary School to resolve the matter, one of the fishermen Hezekiah Mambwe said there was need to find an amicable solution to the conflict so that members of the community can have free access to the Luombwa River.
“This problem is very serious, we want relevant authorities to quickly come in before it gets deadly because the scouts patrol the river banks even at night,” he said.
Mr Mambwe said community members welcomed Amir when he came to the area in 2016 and promised to never deny them access to the river having observed that they were a fishing community.
But Nsofu Ranch Manager Sandra Bwembya said the fishermen are denied access to the river because they practice wrong methods of fishing as they are fond of using mosquito nets adding that the fishermen do not only come to the river for fish but hunt for animals as well.
And Chitambo District Town Council Chairperson, Laston Chibuye advised Mr. Amir and his workers to desist from being Livestock and Fisheries officers and concentrate on their Ranch.
He said it was wrong for the workers to stop the indigenous people from accessing the river for fishing adding that the river and 50meters away from it belongs to no one.