KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka & NKWETO MFULA, Chingola
THE Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) says illegal copper dealers known as Jerabos are a risk to the normal operations of the mines and placing at risk the jobs of many lawfully employed citizens.
And the Patriotic Front (PF) in Chingola says it will spearhead the formation of cooperatives for the Jerabos to help legalise their mining activities on disused dumpsites.
ZCM president Nathan Chishimba said in an interview yesterday that he is hopeful the measures Government is putting in place will ensure the insecurity in the mines does not deteriorate.
Police shot dead a member of a 50-strong gang of Jerabos who raided the KCM operational area and attacked security personnel guarding the mining company’s assets.
“The chamber is also concerned that certain activities by these individuals seem to be posing a risk to the normal operations of our members, placing at risk the welfare of many lawfully employed citizens, not to mention our communities,” he said.
Mr Chishimba said the position of the chamber is that mining is a very serious business and that all mineral rights in Zambia are vested in the government.
Meanwhile, the PF in Chingola says it will spearhead the formation of cooperatives for the Jerabos to help legalise their mining activities on disused dumpsites.
Last week during a meeting with the leaders of the Jerabos, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Christopher Yaluma advised the Jerabos to form cooperatives to be given mining licences.
PF Chingola district chairman Samuel Bwembya, in a statement in Chingola yesterday, supported Government’s commitment to giving small-scale or artisan mining licences.
Mr Bwembya commended Mr Yaluma and his counterpart in the Ministry of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo for their commitment to bringing sanity in the mining industry.
And Chingola mayor Titus Chanda has attributed the increase in illegal mining activities and petty theft in the district to the mushrooming of small smelters, most of which are allegedly not regulated, MONICA KAYOMBO reports from Ndola.
Briefing Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo, who was in the company of a combined team of police, intelligence and immigration officers and other senior government officials, Mr Chanda said the town has seen increased criminal activities lately.
“We have seen an increased number of criminal activities and looting in the city. As mayor, I am worried because children as young as nine years old, our future generation, are being used in these illegal activities,” he said.
He said the increased criminal activities have also affected townships.