Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo has directed immigration officers and police to mop out illegal foreign miners that have infested the mines in Rufunsa district.
Mr Lusambo notes that illegal mining activities have heightened making it a concern to government as the local people do not benefit from the lucrative mining activities in the district.
He said this on Tuesday when he toured the mines in the hills of the district where miners are camping as they extract gold with a view of cashing in from the sale of gold.
“Government is determined to bring sanity to this area by removing all illegal miners,” he said.
And Mr Lusambo has assured traditional leaders who have differed over chiefdom boundary disputes in Rufunsa that he will raise the matter with the relevant government ministries for a resolution to be made.
“Government wants the mining activities in the area to create jobs and help improve the lives of the local people,” he said.
Chief Shikabeta and Chieftainess Mpanshya of the Soli people of Rufunsa district appealed to government to intervene in chiefdom boundary disputes that have led to confusion over lucrative gold mining taking place in the district.
Chief Shikabeta said his subjects do not benefit from the mining activities taking place in his area because of a dispute that he has with Chief Chembe of Mukushi district in Central province.
The traditional leader called on government to intervene and ensure the local people benefit from resources within their area.
“The mines should be able to employ the local people, most of the youths in my area are jobless, and there are foreigners that are working in the mines,” he said.
He also expressed concern that the area has no health and education facilities but only makeshift structures made by the miners.
“We need permanent structures, we need schools, health facilities and other social amenities,” he said.
Earlier, Chieftainess Mpanshya said the dispute regarding chiefdom boundaries could lead to violence among neighboring chiefdoms.
Chieftainess Mpanshya said the boundary disputes she is facing with chief Bundabunda and chief Chembe of central province has led to confusion among subjects of the neighboring chiefdoms who are exhibiting violent behavior.
Speaking through a representative, the traditional leader told Mr Lusambo when he called on her at her palace that the disputes could lead to physical confrontations if not addressed.
“I’m afraid my people may resort to violence,” she said.
The traditional leader charged that chief Chembe has been encroaching into her chiefdom where he has allegedly been forcing her subjects to recognize him as their traditional leader.
“This is why we need the government to intervene by availing us with maps to establish the boundaries of each chiefdom,” She said.
Chieftains Mpanshya said government should conduct a survey to determine the quantities of gold and copper so as to local people benefit from the minerals in the area.
“We just see truckloads of the minerals but we have no idea how much of the minerals we have or where they are destined,” she said.
She also charged that due to illegal mining activities, there has been encroachment in seven villages that are located near the mines.