Kapiri Mposhi District Council Chairperson, Brilliant Munyeke has advised people doing mining in the district to acquire necessary mining permits.
Mr Munyeke said the local authority has observed an increase in illegal mining activities across the district where people are illegally extracting minerals that include manganese, copper and gold.
The Council Chairperson noted that the illegal mining activities were not only endangering lives of people, mostly youths engaged for work but also resulting in loss of revenue by government as the mining activities were not licensed and documented.
Mr Munyeke said this when he and Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner, Francis Hasalama led a team of security personnel to an illegal gold mining site in Chief Mukonchi’s Ilungu area where a named traditional leader from Mkushi District is linked to the illegal gold mining activities.
“We are not happy as a district and local authority and we are not going to tolerate these illegal mining activities. We just want to advise all those doing mining to obtain the required documents for mining. We are not against the issue of mining. And as a country we are losing a lot from these illegal mining activities,” Mr Munyeke said.
Mr Munyeke noted that the mushrooming illegal mining activities were also contributing to environmental degradation in the district’s forests as they were not regulated.
And Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner Francis Hasalama said government was disturbed to learn that a named chief from Mkushi District is involved in the illegal gold mine in Chief Mukonchi’s Ilungu area.
Mr Hasalama advised the traditional leader to stop the mining activities and help the government in managing natural resources for optimum benefits for the people of Zambia.
The DC stressed that traditional leaders should not be seen to be at the centre of committing illegalities.
” All these mining activities going on here are orchestrated by this chief and I would not like the chief to be the first person to contravene the law and rules of the government instead of being in the same leadership with the government controlling and protecting these resources for all to benefit,” Mr Hasalama said.
“Gold is a mineral that is controlled by the state so if anyone wants to carry out mining for gold they should get a license from the Ministry of Mines rather than doing it illegally,” Mr Hasalama added.
And the local people have called on government’s intervention to resolve the matter.
Headwoman Spaida, Lizzy Chilekwa said the named chief had come to the area with an excavator claiming the area where he was to do mining fell in his jurisdiction.
“He claimed it was his land and said he can do anything with it so he mobilised people and they started mining even after reminding him that he had encroached into chief Mukonchi’s area,” Headwoman Sipaida said.
The Headwoman said the area was rich in minerals that include gold, copper and manganese and has recently seen an influx of people carrying out illegal mining activities.
“As local people we want to be helped through cooperatives so that we can also benefit from mining but government should come in to make sure that anyone doing mining here has a license,” Headwoman Sipaida said.
The mining site was found deserted when Mr Hasalama and a team of security personnel visited the area.