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Review Black Mountain empowerment, HH urged

By GIDEON NYENDWA

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema should relook into the empowerment scheme at  the Black Mountain because  in its current form, is biased as it looks to only benefit a few youths and women in mining, Emeralds and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia president, Victor Kalesha, has said.

Mr Kalesha said there was need to sit down with various associations in the mining sector to ask for suggestions on how best this empowerment could be beneficial to all Zambians.

He said they have decided to appeal to Mr Hichilema because he was the appointing authority to those that were superintending at the Black Mountain.

Mr Kalesha said there were ways that could enable these empowerments that were going on in the Copperbelt which would make sure that the benefits trickled down to every Zambian.

He said that in terms of livelihood, it was not only the youth and women that needed empowerment, which was why they have been calling for empowerment as gemstone miners and it has not been forthcoming.

“Everyone needs empowerment,” he said.

Mr Kalesha said that they appreciate the empowering of youths and women because they were now off the list of those who needed to be empowered but they should understand that the economy is not  run for the two groups only, everyone was involved.

He said that they hope the President could give them an audience so that as they sit down with him and explain other areas of empowerment that were available on the Copperbelt.

Mr Kalesha said that they appreciate the fact that there was now empowerment on the Copperbelt for the youth but there were still hundreds of young people who were roaming the streets with nothing to do.

He said that was the reason why there was a need to engage mining companies on the Copperbelt like Kagem Mining so that they could release the dumpsite they were sitting on that people have been crying for.

Mr Kalesha said that these companies need to understand that Zambians needed to be empowered and if they were good partners in development they should help the government to empower Zambians.

He also said that Kagem Mining was sitting on a vast piece of land that was very rich in emeralds in Lufwanyama and they only used less than five percent of it.

Mr Kalesha said that it would be better if the company gave consent to other investors to start mining on the other unused space so that more jobs could be created for Zambians.

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