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KCM guilty of water pollution

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
THE Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court verdict that found Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) guilty of water pollution in 2006.
In 2011, the High Court found KCM guilty of polluting the Mushishima River, a tributary of the Kafue River, and poisoning 2,000 people.
KCM, however, appealed against the High Court judgment on grounds that the court erred in law and fact when it found the company guilty.
This is a case in which James Nyasulu and others sued KCM for discharging effluent from its mining operations into the stream from which the residents get drinking water.
In a judgment delivered yesterday, Supreme Court judge Munalula Lisimba said the High Court was on firm ground when it found KCM guilty of water pollution.
He has, however, overruled the lower court’s decision that the plaintiffs be awarded damages uniformly and directed the deputy registrar of the High Court to assess the damages that will accrue to each plaintiff.
In 2011, Supreme Court judge Phillip Musonda, sitting as High Court judge, ordered that each of the 2,000 residents be paid K4 million (K4,000 after rebasing) as general damages and K1 million (K1,000) as punitive damages.

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