Saturday, July 13, 2024

People complaining of being left out the Black Mountain Deal should engage the Government

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Copperbelt-based good governance activist Peter Mulenga has advised people complaining of being left out in the cooperatives operating the Black Mountain in Kitwe to officially engage the Government through the Ministry of Mines.

Chapamo Mineral Resources and some youths from Kitwe’s Wusakile Mine Township, who have been scavenging at the slug dump, said they feel left out as Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe officially handed over the 30 percent portion to youths and women last month.

Mr. Mulenga, who is also an entrepreneur, said in an interview that the UPND Government can give audience to the people who feel aggrieved over the issue of operations at the Black Mountain.

He, however, said some individuals complaining that they were not consulted on the Slug dump, are those who previously benefited selfishly from the Black Mountain.

“We note that there are still complaints by Chapamo Mineral Resources and former stakeholders of the black mountain. The unhappy big shots. You will note that Chapamo is a listed company at Pacra with known directors. These were mainly the beneficiaries of the proceeds previously. What the Government wants is the slag to benefit many unemployed youths and women thus asking them to form cooperatives. Now what is a cooperative? It’s an organization which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits and benefits. The question is, is the latter classified as a cooperative or a company? I will leave that for you to answer. Now hear me clearly and very clearly, the government asked for cooperatives to be formed and register interest in being part of the beneficiary of the slag dump. Did the latter register interest, my suspicion is no. In my opinion, the unhappy parties did not take this process seriously or as per usual took a partisan stance and thought that it was a UPND dominated affair,” Mr. Mulenga said.

“Now you tell me, engaging over 400 youths and women cooperatives from all the 10 districts of the province that includes 15 chiefs to be beneficiaries of the slag dump if this is not good enough instead of one entity run by a few individuals? If you follow the news seriously, you will note that the minister in charge and his team undertook several consultative meetings on the matter, and I am 100% sure that the final decision was made based on broad consultations. The problem here previously was, the black mountain was a self-enriching scheme by the so called big shots with many local youths reduced to mere bootlickers, this is where you saw many youth been given alcohol, drugs in return for belonging or aligned to with big shot pocketing the returns, and no one dared said anything. Now that this is not the case, now you see them calling for none inclusiveness etc,” Mr. Mulenga said.

Mr. Mulenga said Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe has strived to restore sanity at the Black Mountain in a bid to ensure that the mineral resource benefits many people.

“The Black Mountain has enormous value and great potential to transform unemployed youths from poverty levels to mid class citizens. Previously the mountain was ravaged by greed, corruption and unscrupulous practices by the same people calling for the Minister’s head. This minister has brought sanity in the mining sector. What I have noticed is that they were different groupings which were identified as off-takers of the materials from the black mountain; the complainants can join these groupings instead of asking for the process to be reversed or start again. I give kudos to the Minister Mr Paul Kabuswe for being brave here and of course the President,” he said.

Mr. Mulenga added:”Don’t quote me wrong, I am one of the people who campaigned for the Government to hand the slug dump to the deserving youths. And all those who feel the process is not fair, it is not too late to visit the Minister’s office. Unlike the PF ministers, the new dawn Government will give you an audience. My appeal to the people, who feel left out, let go and lobby the Government for other opportunities. Zambia is blessed with so many mineral resources, Kitwe slag is one of the many available around the Copperbelt. Chapamo has potential to be a lead in line with Government policy to empower youth and women.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. These our governments should be very ashamed. Intead of boasting about giving our people “vinyalala va copper” why not get these youths, find them some mineral rich land and give them to mine the complete material?.
    Should we even make this worthy of a newspaper headline?.
    And these bafikhala ba LT will moderate this comment for days. A site managed by ydiots.

  2. Who’s stopping who? From what I saw as passed by, anyone can lay claim to the slag. And I must say it’s a misplaced excuse that those who benefitted previously etc. This to me is an extension of revenge. It should stop and a complete new page opened.

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