Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe gets praise for defusing tension at Black Mountain Site in Kitwe

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Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Paul Kabuswe has been hailed for providing guidance on the manner of operation at the Black Mountain in Kitwe following last week’s chaotic scenes at the dump site.

Mr. Kabuswe at the weekend met scavengers also known as hand-pickers near the mine dump site and told them to stop climbing the Black Mountain to pick chrome.

The Minister of Mines ruled that people operating tippers will be taking material outside the mine site where the scavengers will be picking from to prevent accidents at the Black Mountain.

Commenting on the new development, Copperbelt based good governance activist Peter Mulenga said it was gratifying to see peace retaining to the Black Mountain after Mr. Kabuswe’s engagement with stakeholders at the dump site.

“It was so encouraging to see the Minister of Mines address scores of youths and stakeholders. This is what I call leadership. There are a lot of misleading statements coming from people who are against the process. Let the Zambian people trust the process of bringing sanity at the Black Mountain (BM) being implemented by the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Hon. Paul Kabuswe. The Minister is taking necessary steps in addressing challenges affecting the mining to ensure the country maximizes profits and income from the sector this includes the Black Mountain,” Mr. Mulenga said.

“It is important to note that Minister Kabuswe has shown true and rare leadership by coming down to the mine site to address the hand pickers as we saw on Saturday. It shows that this Minister wants to deal and resolve the problems at the black mountain. There are so many people who want the Minister to fail but he has proved that he is equal to the task. In the previous administration, we would have seen only a few individuals being called to the State house, flash out deals, pose for pictures etc. Now you notice that this is inclusive, and this Government wants to see as many people involved as possible,” he said.

Mr. Mulenga said leaders should be seen providing solutions to challenges facing people on the ground.

“You see, our leaders must not just sit in offices while there are challenges on the ground. This Minister is out there dealing with the issue on the ground. I am not going to sit here and praise everything which this government does. I will call a spade a spade. I am on record to criticize the approach on the black mountain and when I notice progress then I will give credit. This is exactly what I am doing here. People want to bring politics on issues when there is none. There is talk of Lusaka people being the ones benefiting from the BM, come on guys, people are being fed lies by very selfish individuals. Let the office of the District administrator and local councilors start educating the youth around the BM,” he stated.

Mr. Mulenga added:”Youths around the Black Mountain need proper education on issues around or on the black mountain, then even if the allocation is done, they can then move on to other businesses. And again Lusaka people are also citizens of this country, so why not. Minister Kabuswe mwana wa mu Copperbelt, he understands the issues a lot more than most people think. It is gratifying that the Minister has assured our colleagues the hand pickers that they will be given a chance to get the material. Now that youth should seize this opportunity with both hands, this could be life changing should they take this so serious. And youths please do not allow selfish people to use you for their gains. Whatever gains you make, start other businesses, the black mountain will not always be there.”

Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe
Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe

Mr. Mulenga proposed that the Ministry of Mines should consider organsing inductions for hand-pickers to orient them on mine safety regulations.

“The Minister must be supported to ensure that safe measures are followed at the Black Mountain. Why can’t the government organize an induction for the pickers, orient them to the mining safety regulations. It could be wise to do that if it has not been done already. The most important point from the Minister’s remarks is that he is preaching proper safety as people operate at the Black Mountain. Bringing sanity to the Black Mountain is not a one day process because problems at the site are historical, the previous Government failed to deal with this matter and only made a few individuals very mega rich. At least we have seen progress, we have seen green shots, this is so gratifying. Now we have a Minister who is taking it step by step. Good students of history know that even in the past there have been closures and protests at the Black Mountain,” he said.

“Let Minister Kabuswe continue providing leadership on the issue of the Black Mountain and Safety issues at the mine site must be non negotiable. Safety at the Black Mountain should not be exchanged with anything to preserve people’s lives. Human life is sacred and must come first before anything. Let’s protect lives as we fight economic battles aimed at improving the livelihood of our citizens. Mining has tremendous potential to develop and support the inclusive wealth creation agenda as espoused in the Zambia strategy. I can see that ministry and the Government is working out mechanisms and programmes aimed at promoting value addition to increase the returns from the commodity while creating more jobs for young people, including the skilled and unemployed youth,” Mr. Mulenga concluded.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Has Peter Mulenga seen the congestion on the Mindolo and M18 roads. It took me forty five minutes to travel from the rail crossing to Chibuluma turn off.

  2. Kabuswe received praise??? He caused the problem in the first place and should be SACKED immediately!

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