Monday, April 15, 2024

Confusion at the Black Mountain in Kitwe appears far from ending

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Confusion at the Black Mountain in Kitwe appears far from ending as scavengers continue fighting for their share at the mineral dump site.

Police on Thursday morning fought running battles with scavengers after they were denied entry into the Black Mountain area.

The scavengers blocked the Kitwe-Ndola Road with tires, logs and stones in protest.

The scavengers mostly youths want access to the Black Mountain as well despite not being in cooperatives.

The protest on Thursday morning which happened between 06:00 and 08:00 hours disturbed the movement of people and motor traffic on the Kitwe/Ndola Road.

Police needed to use tear gas canisters to contain the situation as protesters were forced to flee into Wusakile and Misheshi Townships

Police are still keeping vigil around the Black Mountain.

Some people picking chrome, the mineral found at the dump site, on Tuesday morning ran amok disrupting operations at the Black Mountain in Kitwe.

Meanwhile, Copperbelt acting Police Commissioner Tresford Kasale has warned people causing confusion at the Black Mountain.

Mr. Kasale said that enough manpower has been deployed to ensure that law and order prevails at the Black Mountain.

Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Kasongo has noted that failure to harmonise operations between scavengers and cooperatives has caused confusion at the Black Mountain.

Mr. Kasongo said there is need for scavengers and cooperatives to give each other chances to operate at the Black Mountain.

“I was saying your (cooperatives) business is based on turn over. The more trucks your load the more money you make so beginning work in the afternoon is working against you in terms of turnover. We have resolved with your colleagues (scavengers) that they will have a portion where to operate from. You will equally have where to operate from. So stick to your area of operation,” Mr. Kasongo said.

Kitwe District Commissioner Lawrence Mwanza hours earlier had told ZNBC News that chrome hand-pickers or scavengers will no longer access the Black Mountain until further notice.

Mr. Mwanza, who was visibly annoyed, said that it was a serious error and breach of the Mines and Minerals Act for operators at the Black Mountain to allow chrome hand pickers at the site.

He repeated his accusations against small scale miners popularly known as Jerabos and some foreign investors operating in Kitwe that they were sponsoring the chrome hand pickers who are causing confusion at the Black Mountain.

Confusion has characterised operations at the Black Mountain since Monday when business resumed as scavengers forced their way to pick the lucrative materials at the site.

Meanwhile, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe has warned that the government will not take kindly to people trying to cause confusion over the operations at the Black Mountain.

Mr. Kabuswe has charged that there is a clique that wants to exclusively benefit from the Black Mountain at the expense of cooperatives that have embraced many stakeholders including women.

Speaking in an interview with ZNBC News, the Mines Minister also revealed that the Government is committed to improving safety at the site to prevent accidents.

He said the operator who is excavating the slag from Black Mountain on behalf of the cooperatives has expertise in mining.

Mr. Kabuswe said the operator was thoroughly interviewed and scrutinized before being employed to work with cooperatives.

The Government last month officially handed over 30 % of the Kitwe Mineral Slag Dump commonly known as Black Mountain to cooperatives owned by the local youth and women.

The Black Mountain located between Wusakile and Nkana West is owned by Nkana Alloy, who are the major shareholders with the Government having a minor stake.

When handing over the 30% portion of the Black Mountain in February, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe told the cooperatives to begin operations with immediate effect.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Both Paul Kabuswe and Elisha Matambo have failed on this. My advice is for them to allow cooperatives to operate from Monday to Saturday then the chrome scavengers to have access on Sunday from 6 – 18hrs. It’s as simple as that. Bally promised Kitwe youths empowerment and he’s given it to them but your lack of leadership will make a good decision look bad. If you’re stuck please consult, we’ll give you free advice.

  2. Mr Kabuswe should not blame some clique for the confusion. There was no plan at all to ensure orderly operations at the BM. So the police are going to spend man hours at BM instead of patrolling our townships? Kabuswe should just let people do what they know best… scrambling.

  3. Most bloggers on LT are in agreement that it is best to put the extraction of minerals from that dump under the operations of a professional company………..

    With proceeds from sales invested in sustainable business ventures and vocational skills training for the unemployed…………

    This is creating lawlessness, next the unemployed will want to grab legitimate mines from owners……….

  4. The Minister of Mines is responsible for this chaos and should resign immediately, and if he hasn’t done so by 17:00 hours today, the President should sack him on the spot. What a total blunder!

  5. The lack of leadership by Kabuswe and Matambo is making Belly’s good decision look bad. Why can’t they let cooperatives operate from Monday to Saturday and chrome scavengers on Sunday? These people have silicone in the heads

  6. Professionals companies only, not individuals. Those individuals should be employed by professional companies, not what’s going on

  7. CALL IN THE POLICE AND SEAL IT OFF
    THATS THE ONLY WAY TO GO
    PF ARE ENCOURAGING ALL AND SUNDRY TO STAKE THEIR CLAIM REGARDLESS

  8. This shows how stup!!d Africans are.
    They are given an opportunity to organise and work together and they choose to act like selfish savages

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