Thursday, February 29, 2024

Allowing Mining in Lower Zambezi on legal technicalities is a serious indictment on UPND

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The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) is concerned by media reports suggesting that the government has allowed the highly controversial open-pit mining project in Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP).

CEJ Executive Director Maggie Mwape says allowing the mining project to proceed based on legal technicalities would be a serious indictment to the New Dawn administration, bringing into question its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Ms. Mwape says the project is in stark contrast to, and a deviation from pronouncements and policy directions of the New Dawn Administration, espoused both locally and internationally in different media.

She has since called on the Minister of Environment and Green Economy to urgently issue a Ministerial statement on the matter.

Ms. Mwape adds that noting the stage at which the matter has reached, which seemed to have informed the Minister’s decision, CEJ further calls upon the President, His Excellency, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema to recall his past pronouncements and Zambia’s domestic legislation and various international treaties the country is a party to relevant to informing the decision process on the project.

She says a firm decision on this project is his chance to do the right thing, stand with the people, leverage political will, and practically demonstrate the country’s commitments to the environmental ethos by exercising his executive authority over the matter.

Ms Mwape says Zambia will be failing to practically demonstrate her commitment to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration should the open pit mine project proceed.

She adds that CEJ will continue to stand by ZEMA’s initial decision which rejected the Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the project, citing strong, credible science for not approving the project.

She says CEJ recommends that the New Dawn government maintains its position and promise made on zero mining in lower Zambezi.

Ms Mwape says CEJ has since recommended that Government revokes both the mining license and environmental approvals given to developing the open-pit copper mine in the heart of the Lower Zambezi.

Ms Mwape says regrettably, a weakness in the attendant legislation which allows the Minister to overturn a decision by the competent authority was actively pursued resulting in the protracted controversies surrounding the project.

Ms Mwape says CEJ wants Government to review the clause in the Environmental Management Act of 2011 which empowers the Minister to overturn ZEMA’s decision when an investor appeal.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Ms Maggie Mwape is right, and should be supported in fighting the government on this decision. Approving a project without having seen any plans, or budgets, or environmental impact assessment – if it would have come from the horrible thieving PF then I would not be surprised, but from the New Dawn??? Disappointing to say the least

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  2. All these useless so called enviromental organisations should just shut up ITS VERY SIMPLE NO MINING IN THE LOWER ZAMBEZI….this is no time for blah blah blah blah useless traitors and hypocrites….I REPEAT NO MINING IN THE LOWER ZAMBEZI…NO EXPLANATION NEEDED

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  3. Chimbwi no plan President HH the demagogue and thieving makaka should be impeached from office…he’s trying to auction Zambia…HH is a big crook and now you know why he hasn’t explained how he got his wealth

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  4. STOP all mining in game parks!! That’s why they were created so that its a safe haven for animals with no commercial activities taking place there. Next you will find a shoprite opening in luangwa National Park then a pick n pay in kafue national park. Where are the animals going to go?

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  5. They are creating employment, Zambia is only occupied by about 30% the rest is the bush, what are you yapping about, sela tubombeko iwe.

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  6. We want development in this country as soon as possible. Copper prices are doing very fine now – let us not miss the opportunity. If anything we can air lift all those Hyenas, Impalas, Warthogs….etc to other National Parks doted around the country. Besides there is Covid 19- meaning no tourists to watch these animals.

  7. media reports suggesting that the government has allowed the highly controversial open-pit mining project in Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP). There was no suggesting! It was stated the venture was going ahead!

  8. @ Saulos , calm down continuous sulking with bitterness will consume you to death. Many have diverse views and express them in a civilised style. Seek mental medical help, free advice.

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  9. But why was PF criticized by UPND when they wanted to allow this? UPND is now clear they have been lying all the time.. Sorry PF. I just didn’t undertand

  10. UPND should be bold enough and go ahead with this project if its really viable. We need employment creation and foreign exchange stability. There is obviously another viable alternative to the environment issue which some NGOs are following blindly from school books.

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