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BLACK MOUNTAIN CLAIMS CASUALTIES

…as women fight for share of proceeds

By ROGERS KALERO

THE President of the Association of Zambia Women in Mining (AZWIM) Grace Njapau has been suspended for alleged failure to account for proceeds from the Black Mountain.

And Emerald Production Watch of Zambia (EPWZ) President Musa Kafimbwa says this is just a tip of the iceberg and has called for a complete audit of the black mountain business model as only a few individuals were getting richer at the expense of the majority poverty stricken people.

(AZWIM) executive members were up in arms over the sharing of their 10 percent earnings from the Black Mountain and have accused their president of failing to account for proceeds.

AZWIM Trustee Ronica Chimfutumba Mukwala announced the suspension of Ms Njapau after an executive meeting which was held at Geological Survey and attended by 13 members of the executive committee out of the 16 executive members.

Mr Kafwimba said Government needed to set up an independent committee to probe the operations at the Black Mountain following claims of unfair sharing of proceeds.

He said before the Black Mountain completely diminished, government must put in place an Independent committee to establish how the operations were being conducted and how many benefited from it.  

Mr Kafimbwa said it was sad that some people were misleading   President Hakainde on Hichilema how the operations were being conducted and that a number of people had benefited when in actual fact only a few individuals were benefiting.

“People who used to walk, people who were footing are now driving expensive vehicles, they are short of flying because of the Black Mountain. People who were supposed to benefit from  the Black Mountain have not benefited.

“The Black Mountain is a failed project and government must  put in place an independent committee to probe the operations at the Black Mountain before few individual continue to get richer at the expense of the poor people,’’ Mr Kafimbwa said.

 And Ms Mukwala said Ms Njapau had been suspended to pave way for further investigations into her dealings which included failure to account for proceeds from the Black Mountain

“After the meeting we had, as 13 executive members of the AZWIM, we decided to resolve to suspend Ms Njapau for various reasons including failure to account for proceeds from the Black Mountain, procurement of association goods and others.

“ AZWIM is an association and before you do anything, the executive has to approve, but this has not been happening. When you ask about how things are being done, you are being called all sorts of names,’’ Ms Mukwala said.

The Executive members who included the Vice-President Rose Zimba and Trustee Peggy Mumba said Ms Njapau has always been uncooperative and often used abusive language whenever she was asked to account for the proceeds from the Black Mountain

But when contacted for a comment, Ms Njapau refused to comment on a number of allegations levelled against her, which included failure to account for proceeds from the 10 percent of the Black Mountain which the association had been given.

Ms Zimba said, as AZWIM Vice-President, she had decided to turn up for the meeting so that issues of accountability and others could be resolved, but was surprised that Ms Njapau decided to turn up briefly at the meeting to issue warnings to the executive members who demanded accountability in  the running of the association particularly the Black Mountain.

Ms Zimba said the executive members were surprised that Ms Njapau had been donating buses, occupying office accommodation and other things without consulting them.

And Ms Mumba, one of the trustees said Ms Njapau was always using abusive language against whoever was demanding accountability regarding proceeds from the Black Mountain

Ms Mumba said she was at one time called a “beggar” by Ms Njapau for demanding accountability from the proceeds of Black Mountain

“Me, I’m a Trustee, and I can tell you that I have been a victim of abusive language from Ms Njapau for demanding accountability from the proceeds of the Black Mountain. I was called a beggar for demanding accountability from the proceeds of Black Mountain,’’ Ms Mumba said

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