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‘Probe illegal mine operations involving tourist operators’

By OLIVER SAMBOKO
THERE is need to institute an investigation on tour operators who are secretly carrying out mining activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park, so that those found wanting are brought to book, the Luangwa Establishment has demanded.
Luangwa Establishment chairperson Joseph Felemenga said the illegal mining activities in the national parks should be brought to an end as this was robbing the country of the much needed resources.
He said the criminality in the mining sector should not be tolerated because the sector was the backbone of the country’s economy.
Mr Felemenga said those fighting against the copper mine in the Zambezi Lower National Park should not be left to continue illegally exploiting the minerals in the park and on the other hand campaigning against the establishment of the mine which would not only would create jobs for the Zambian people but also contribute to the growth of the economy.
He said it was sad that some tour operators had launched a sustained campaign against the establishment of an open pit copper mine in the area but at the same time, the same people were engaging in illegal mining that was robbing the country of millions.
Mr Felemenga said it’s an open secret that planes have been landing in the park undetected and believe it was the same vehicle being used to air lift minerals from the country.

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