By NOEL IYOMBWA
DESPITE calls by residents of Mungule area for Government to rescind its decision to close Siege Zinc Mine, one of the few sources of employment still remains closed.
A resident, Moffat Malembeka, said for the months the mine had been operating, it created the much-needed employment for the local people.
Mr Malembeka wondered why Government listened to one family when the area was a mining area.
He said some families had relocated after the company built them new houses.
“As far as we are concerned, that is a mining area, how come some people decided to settle there because what I know is that land cannot be given to a mining area.
“The mining activities date back to 1959 though it was an underground mine and everyone who has been here for a long time knows that. So we are appealing to Government to rescind its decision and open the mine so that people start working,” he said.
When contacted, Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga said officers were on the ground to follow up the matter.
Meanwhile, former Member of Parliament Aubrey Kapalasa said he was not aware that the mine was closed.
Mr Kapalasa promised to give a detailed comment once he gathered information.
The Ministry of Mines has suspended mining operations at Zinc mine situated in Machaya Village in Chieftainess Mungule area.
Consent to commerce operations was granted by ZEMA and Department of Safety in the Ministry of Mines after meeting all the statutory and safety requirements.
Siege Mining applied for large scale mining license which was granted after meeting all statutory requirements.
Three families who owned properties have since relocated after selling off their properties to the mining company which has built new houses for them.
One family has resisted to be relocated and compensated and is the source of complaints leading to the suspension of operations at the mine, sending more than 160 on leave.