In a joint operation, police in Mansa have apprehended and formally charged a group of nineteen individuals, including a former Minister and a Police Commissioner, for engaging in illegal mining activities related to Sugilite. The charges filed against them include carrying out mining operations without a license and conveying unlawfully acquired property, as outlined in the relevant sections of the Mines and Minerals Development Act No.11 of 2015 and the Penal Code Act Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia, respectively.
According to the case details, the accused individuals are alleged to have conducted unauthorized mining activities in the Muombe Mine area of Chembe District, Luapula Province, between January 4, 2023, and February 13, 2023. During this period, they reportedly extracted approximately 23 tonnes of Sugilite Mineral Ore without the necessary license. Subsequently, the mined material was transported from Chembe to the Kapiri Mposhi district.
Among those arrested are Honourable Derrick Chilundika, a former Minister for Luapula Province, and Ms. Gloria Cheelo Mulele, the Police Commissioner for Northern Province. The group also includes prominent individuals such as Nelson Kalembwe, the UPND Youth Chairperson for Luapula Province, Jones Nkandu, a UPND Provincial Youth Leader, and JerryJustin Bwalya, the Acting UPND Provincial Chairperson. Others involved in the case include Obbrey Simauki, a Provincial UPND Youth Secretary, Royd Mwansa, a former Deputy Permanent Secretary for Luapula Province, and Robert Mutepuka and Morton Sikazwe, former District Commissioners for Nchelenge and Mwansabombwe, respectively.
The list of apprehended individuals further includes several members of the police force, namely Police Constable Sydney Mulongwe, Police Constable Simon Chiwala, Police Chief Inspector Masauso Jere, and Police Sergeant Mulenga Chilufya. Additionally, Superintendent of Police Joshua Chimuli was also arrested in connection with the illegal mining case.
Completing the group of detainees are local businessmen Justin Chisha, Kelvin Mulenga, Kelvin Mukuka, and Kingston Chingu. Stephen Chikota, the Mwense Town Council Chairperson, is also among those who have been arrested and charged.
All nineteen individuals have been released on police bond pending their forthcoming court appearances.
Rae Hamoonga, the Police Spokesperson, provided the aforementioned information regarding the arrests and charges made in relation to the illegal Sugilite mining activities.