By ROGERS KALERO
For three days now, suspected UPND cadres have invaded the Black Mountain stopping Nkana Alloy, the owner of the slug dump, from operating.
The company has now appealed for Government protection.
Police have meanwhile denied knowledge of the standoff.
The cadres are annoyed that the owner of the slug dump was ‘killing’ their market as all customers were buying materials directly from Nkana Alloy.
But Nkana Alloy officials have protested the siege, stating that those stopping them from selling the material have no legal document or right to operate from the Black Mountain or stop the company from selling the material to anybody.
They said Nkana Alloy had legal documents to operate at the Black mountain and would continue with full legitimate operations, but asked for government protection to ensure normal operations.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Tresford Kasale said the police had not received a formal complaint or report from Nkana Alloy regarding the incident at the Black mountain.
Chapamo Mineral Processing Limited Chairperson Kelvin Tembo said, while his organisation was not among those who had moved onto the Black mountain to stop Nkana Alloy from selling the material , he believed the selling of the material to any member of the community would adversely affect their business.
Mr Tembo said the motive of the UPND cadres was good, but left much to be desired and could make people to easily misunderstand them.
“As Chapamo, we are not part of those who have moved onto the Black mountain to stop Nkana Alloy from selling the material to any member of the community, but I must state that the idea behind is good.
“Selling the material from the Black mountain to any member of the community would adversely affect the market because no one would be buying from the small scale miners as everyone could be buying directly from Nkana Alloy,’’ Mr Tembo said
Officials from Nkana Alloy said there was a group of people they did not know who had gathered around Black Mountain, throwing the stones at vehicles and people. They also illegally locked the gate of the Black Mountain to prevent normal normal operations.
“ To protect our legitimate rights, and the safety of personnel and properties, we request and believe that the government and police of Republic of Zambia should pay close attention to this issue impartially and help Black Mountain from harassment and back to normal operations,’’ they said.