Economy

Mwaliteta Defends Illegal Mining

Kafue Member of Parliament (MP) Obvious Mwaliteta has supported the illegal mining being conducted by senior chieftainess Nkomeshya’s daughter under the name of Skyline Quarry Limited in Shantumbu.

And latest information has emerged that Nkomeshya’s Skyline Quarry has obtained a mining in order to mislead a court case in which the firm has been sued for trespassing and illegal mining.

During the week, Mwaliteta who is Central Province minister said it was good Skyline’s illegal mining had started employing local people in Shantumbu.

During a conducted tour of the illegal mining plant that is being run by the some Chinese in Shantumbu, in his capacity as area Member of Parliament supported the unlawful activities even when he was aware that the Chinese company that was being used by Nkomeshya’s firms that had no mining licence and they were also operating without an environmental management plan.

The mining area where the Chinese are operating had been unlawfully seized from Vikram Investments Limited and there is an active court case in which an injunction was obtained to stop the illegal mining, but the Chinese and Nkomeshya have ignored the courts.

But now, Mwaliteta has said it was fine for the illegal mining to proceed because it was creating employment for the local people.

He said the government was supporting investors who were creating jobs for Zambians, but he failed to address the matter where the Chinese and Nkomeshya’s companies are trying to seize a mine area from other investors who obtained legal licences from the government.

Recently, this publication made an expose in which senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya was linked to illegal mining in Shantumbu after grabbing a mine from Vikram Investments Limited.

After a thorough search in different government departments, it was discovered that two companies registered as Busoli Development Company and Skyline Quarry Limited had partnered with Chinese China Jiangsu Limited and these forced themselves on the mining licence belonging to Vikram Investments Limited.

Skyline Quarry Limited and Busoli Development Company are registered in the names of Mainza Elizabeth Nkomeshya, her husband Lannard Kawanu, George Mwamba and Chinese citizens.

According to investigations, Skyline Quarry has connived with some senior government officials at the Geological Survey Department and ministry of mines who have facilitated the issuance of the mining licence to Nkomeshya’s company in an effort to legitimatize the illegal mining.

The paper trail shows that early this year, Skyline Quarry made an application to the government for a mining licence and it was issued.

However, it has been discovered that Skyline Quarry is currently mining on the place where Vikram Investments Limited has a licence. According to a recent visit, diagrams and co-ordinates, the area where Nkomeshya’s Skyline Quarry is purporting to be mining contains a school, church, a borehole and other social facilities.

“Skyline Quarry has been given a licence and their papers show that they made this application hurriedly and it is clear that this was meant to obtain a licence and pretend they were mining elsewhere, but in actual fact, they are mining within the co-ordinates belonging to Vikram Investments Limited. It is a trick they have used to divert the court into thinking that they have a legal licence for their own place when they are actually trespassing on Vikram,” an official from the ministry of mines said.

Recently, it was learnt that the Nkomeshya and the Chinese were planning to seize the mine area from Vikram Investments Limited. According to investigations conducted, the Chinese were using a Mr George Mwamba who had involved many tricks to show that Vikram Investments were planning to sell the mine area and that the Indians had failed to develop their mine.

According to police investigations, George Mwamba had forged a letter to show that the Indians wanted to the sell the mine area under dispute. He tried to circulate the letter to different media house including the Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Nation where he was ejected.

The police have arrested two people Kasonde Kasonde and Joseph Kangwa Tungati for forgery and the police have continued with their investigations.

According to a headman in Shantumbu, the Chinese have allegedly mobilized a group of headmen from Chisakane Zone 10 Shantumbu, led by senior headman Chipwalu and headman Kakote to rise against the Indian investors.

“This is meant to chase Vikram and Mr George Mwamba and senior headman Chipwalu are the ones who have brought women and youths to say that the local people want the Chinese and not the Indians. But some of us feel we should accommodate investors of all types and not just favour the Chinese,” the headman said.

Efforts to get a comment from Vikram Invesments Limited failed to materialise by press time.

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