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Black Mountain has put my life in danger, says UPND councillor

By ROGERS KALERO

UPND Rokana Ward Councillor Macmillan Mbao has disclosed that his life was in danger because some people were planning to attack him for speaking against the effects of the operations of the Black Mountain on the local community in Nkana West residential area.

Mr Mbao and the residents of Nkana West in Nkana constituency have since resolved to engage the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to do a report on the operations of the Black Mountain and then proceed to petition the matter in the courts of law.

Mr Mbao said during a community meeting with residents of Nkana West at Rokana Primary School that as much as he was the UPND ward Councillor, he did not support the operations of the Black Mountain which was affecting the health and safety of the residents.

Mr Mbao said the dust which the trucks from the Black Mountain were spilling contained silica and other harmful substances which could have long term effects on the residents hence his concern.

He said it was sad that following his concerns regarding the operations of the Black Mountain, some people thought he had ganged up with the Kitwe Mayor Mpasa Mwaya to call for the suspension of the operations at the Black Mountain and were now planning to attack him.

“I was elected as ward councillor by the people of Rokana ward which include Nkana West and so when people are complaining about certain things, I need to speak for them, but it is unfortunate that when I speak for the people regarding the operations of the Black Mountain, some people are planning to harm me.

“I can tell you that my life is in danger because I spoke on behalf of the residents of Nkana West over the issues surrounding the operations at the Black Mountain which are proving to be a health hazard because of the dust which contains silica and other harmful substances which may have long term effects on their lives,’’ Mr Mbao said.

Mr Mbao said it was sad that after the mayor called for the suspension of the operations at the Black Mountain, she was insulted and called all sorts of names.

He said the mayor’s call for the suspension of the operations was aimed at finding  a solution to the problem though a round table discussion with the local authority.

When asked whether he was supporting the suspension of the Black Mountain operations because he was not one of the beneficiaries, Mr Mbao said he had survived beyond the Black Mountain and he facilitated his own campaign ahead of the 2021 elections.

But, the UPND has warned those politicising the Black Mountain empowerment programme to refrain from such politics as it borders on frustrating the government’s efforts to empower youths, women and the communities with such a programme

UPND Copperbelt Vice-Information and Publicity Secretary for Politics Sam Mwikisa said they were aware that the self-centred Patriotic Front members were frustrating the project.

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