Youths in Mufumbwe on Thursday carried out peaceful protests against the continued illegal mining activities by Lunga resources under the auspices of Kalengwa Processing Zone (KPZ).
The youths who were led by Chief Chizela’s son Fumpa Chizela are demanding that KPZ should immediately vacate the mine and that the Ministry of Mines should quickly return the License to the rightful owners, Moxico Resources.
Speaking on behalf of the residents Prince Chizela who is also an aspiring parliamentary candidate on the Patriotic Front (PF) said the people of Mufumbwe had suffered a lot at the hands of Lunga resources previously and now KPZ and that they will not allow phoney investors who want to steal resources meant for the people in the area.
He called on the Republican President to take interest in the happenings surrounding the mine and help resolve the issues so that people of Mufumbwe can start benefiting from the riches in the district through employment.
“The youths of Mufumbwe carried out a peaceful protest against the illegal mine activities taking place at Kalengwa mine. We wanted to get the attention of the President so that he can look into the plight of people of Mufumbwe by ensuring that the rightful owners take up the operations at Kalengwa mine. Moxico is the company we know. KPZ does not mean well and the President should take action so that we can start benefiting from these resources as a community”.
“The youths of are asking the President because they have suffered. Moxico has demonstrated that they are willing to help the people of Mufumbwe through their Corporate Social Responsibility programs. When the Police Station was burnt it was Moxico that pumped in money to ensure that it is rebuilt. The only bank was about to close but Moxico pumped in over K1 million to ensure that it remains open. Our appeal to the President is to listen to the cries of the youths and help resolve the challenges surrounding our mine so that we can get employment and avoid the bad vices that come with unemployment,” he said.
He said as the custodians of the land they will ensure that the rightful owner of the mine starts to operate from the mine and that government through the ministry of mines should expedite the process of ensuring that Moxico Resources License is reinstated.
He said KPZ is not only reaping of the people of Mufumbwe but they were stealing resources which belong to the people of Zambia.
Meanwhile Moxico Resources has commenced Contempt of Court proceedings in Ndola against KPZ and others after the company abrogated a court ruling which reinstated Moxico as the rightful owners of Kalengwa Mine in Mufumbwe District of North Western Province.
Contempt charges have been filed against Shawaki Fawaz, Brenda Gama, Craig Meerholz, Colin Bird, Bezant Resources, Xtract Resources and Lunga resources on Thursday.
The Contempt charges are in relation to an ex parte order which was granted on 26th July 2019 to Moxico that restrained KPZ and its employees and agents from positioning mining equipment and people as well as undertaking any mining activities on Kalengwa Mine in Mufumbwe District. The recent occupation of the Kalengwa mine by KPZ with equipment, vehicles and people is in contempt of the ex parte order.
The injunction also has a penal notice which cautions that if the defendants fail or neglect to comply with the terms of the order they shall be liable for contempt of court and be committed to prison for breach of the order.
The recent occupation of mine by the defendants is a clear breach of the ex parte order by any standards.
The case also stretches to London. Colin Bird the chairman of Bezant and Xtract is a known associate of Fawaz and has boasted publicly about his business deals with KPZ.
More recently he has been making public statements to the London markets regarding the on-going illegal KPZ mine activities as he has said they have raised money and will be commencing drilling at Kalengwa but did not mention the injunction against KPZ even coming near the Kalengwa mine site.
The traditional leadership in the District has also vehemently refused to support KPZ as they have written several letters to authorities including the President asking for his intervention in the matter.
In the recent correspondence, the traditional leader has written to the Ministry of Traditional Affairs complaining about the invasion by KPZ who have moved to the mine without any approval from ZEMA nor a consent from his Chiefdom.