United Party for National Development Kalulushi losing Parliamentary Candidate Chikabala Kaleta has commended the new Minister of Mines and Minerals Development for suspending mining activities at all Mining dump sites in the country.
Commenting on the statement by the Minister that mining activities have been suspended at dump sites Kaleta said the move was commendable because the country has not benefited from the dump sites.
He said the intended beneficiaries had been duped by named individuals who had connections to Statehouse and the mines ministry in the previous administration as almost all the mining activities were carried out by the said individuals at the exclusion of local communities.
He said it was disheartening to see local people suffering when they should be flourishing especially after the pronouncements which were made by the previous administration regarding the dump sites as belonging to the local cooperatives and youth organizations.
“We happy with the move by the new Minister for suspending any mining activities on these dump sites. This has been our cry for a long time so that we can clearly identify who has been operating on these sites and take corrective measures. For Example We know that Shamrock Mineral Resources the company which is owned by a British Investor Collin Bird in conjunction with some local business men who had serious connections at Statehouse have been undertaking Mining activities at the Bwana Mkubwa Dump site without any documentation from the Mining Cadaster.
“We are also aware that the Black Mountain is one individual who has taken up almost 75% of the mining activities using proxies belonging him and his partners. This something which should not be allowed in this government. We want people to benefit from these dump sites so that they can create jobs for themselves and create wealth within communities. So we happy with the move by government to suspended and carry out corrective actions at these dump sites,” he said.
Kaleta observed that many youth organizations and local cooperatives should benefit from the resources domesiled in their areas something he said will not only create employment for the youths but spar development at local level.
Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe on Tuesday suspended mining activities at all dumpsites, popularly know as black mountains, until there is sanity in the operations.
Speaking to journalists at a Media briefing in Lusaka, Mr. KAbuswe said that government wants sanity and order to be restored in the operations while it promotes small-scale mining in the dumpsites.
The Minister said that there is a need to create a legal framework for youths to fairly participate in small-scale mining.