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CONCOURT PETITIONED OVER MINING IN LOWER ZAMBEZI

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

ENVIROMENTALIST Robert Chimambo has petitioned the Constitutional Court to order Government to withdraw the approval for mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park as it breaches the constitution.

Mr Chimambo, who has cited the Attorney General and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) as respondents in the petitions wants the court to order them to withdraw the approval of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) dated May 7, 2021 for being in violation of the constitution. 

He seeks an order that freedom of environmental information is a constitutional right.

In the petition filed in the ConCourt yesterday, Mr Chimambo who boasts of 40 years’ experience as an environmentalist at local and international level stated that ZEMA approved EIS for proposed large scale mining in the said area for Mwembeshi Resources Limited without public hearings being conducted. 

“Open pit mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park will permanently destroy the landscape of the park. That the construction and widening of the road and the construction of the power lines in the national park facilitate mining activities will compromise the integrity of the park and affect its ecological value,” he contends.

He alleged that the failure by ZEMA to demand for public hearings before giving Mwembeshi the greenlight to mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park, a sensitive area, contravenes the constitution in terms of articles 253(1)(i),255(i), and 257 (d).  

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