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MINE CLOSURE RILES LOCALS

By NOEL IYOMBWA

RESIDENTS of Mungule Chiefdom and the surrounding areas have staged a protest against the closure of the Zinc Mine.

The Ministry of Mines has suspended mining operations at Zinc mine situated in Machaya Village in Chieftainess Mungule’s area following complaints of noise pollution from one of the local resident. 

And a local resident of Katuba, Mr Ephraim Shakafuswa expressed disappointment over the closure of the Zinc Mine which employs over 160 people.

Mr Shakafuswa noted that the decision to stop operations of the mine without any notice is ill informed.  To Page 2

“We just can’t wake up and make such bad decisions and pretend all is normal in a constituency that has been in the hands of the opposition.

“If there was some wrong committed by the company they should have been given an opportunity to remedy the situation.

“Katuba needs to develop and this should be a priority of a government in power that wants to extend political dominance in Katuba.

“I am an interested party of the mine operations as a resident of Katuba who sees beyond the 160 workers without jobs and their dependents who don’t know where their next meal will come,” he said.

Consent to commerce operations was granted by ZEMA and the Department of Safety in the Ministry of Mines after meeting all the statutory and safety requirements, the mine owners said.

The area where the mine is located is designated by government as a mine area and when early exploration dating back as far as 1959 were abandoned, people ended up buying land around the abandoned mine.

Siege Mining applied for large scale mining licence which was granted and after meeting all statutory requirements and safety concerns from ZEMA and the Department of Safety from the Ministry of Mines consent was given to start operations.

One of the workers, Mr Looney Shatundada complained  that most people especially the youth in Mungule area have been unemployed and that the coming of the Siege Mining Company has been a relief for many youths who were unemployed.

He said that for the past seven months that they worked at the mine their lives had changed for the better.

According to a letter obtained by Daily Nation from the traditional leadership to the Ministry of Mines, the mine was approved and had no problem with the mine.

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