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THE chrome hand pickers, mostly youths, have demanded for a fair share in the black mountain empowerment where the UPND big wigs are alleged to have over 250 trucks operating at the site, while the ordinary youths are made to scavenge with hands.

They complained that the operations at the Black Mountain has been taken over by the UPND leadership with financial muscles.  Marjorie Chungu and Ireen Banda said the UPND leadership at the Black Mountain had allegedly allocated 35 trucks to the community which they will be loading three days in a week, while the UPND have 265 trucks to load every day.

“What is happening at the Black Mountain is disheartening. Even the criteria used to form the cooperatives you are hearing about is not known. The whole thing has been hijacked by UPND. The consortium formed is a UPND affair

“To make matters worse, the price at which the material is being sold is US$9 per tonne, but they have told the people that the material is being sold at US$6 per tonne. All payments can only be done through the consortium. There is also the US$3, which they are saying it is loading but the truth of the matter, is that the loading fee is US$0.5,’’ Ms Chungu said

Ms Chungu said, from the US$6, they are also getting the Value Added Tax (VAT), and people were wondering what value was being added to the material for people to be paying the VAT.

“VAT is value added tax and so one is made to wonder what value is added to that material for those in charge to be charging VAT. The whole thing at the Black Mountain looks like a scam,’’ she said

She said compared to what used to happen in the previous government, the ruling party was just accommodated, but this time the UPND officials were now in charge and wanted to take advantage to enrich themselves

“While in opposition President Hakainde Hichilema promised to transform Jerabos into miners, but his cadres are now showing more muscle than the people who fought for the Black Mountain, ‘’ Ms Chungu said

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