Chief threatens to chase miners

A traditional leader in Mansa has threatened to
chase manganese mining investors who are allegedly exploiting his subjects
and not honouring their corporate social responsibilities in his chiefdom.

Chief Chisunka of the Ushi people in Mansa district of Luapula province
advised all the companies conducting mining activities in his area to work
with his subjects and ploughed back profits to the community.

The chief told ZANIS that the mining companies signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with the people in the area before commencing their
activities but were now disregarding the agreement.

He noted that some companies are undermining his authority by going
against what was agreed upon in the MoU.

The Chief Chusunka Royal Establishment has let out over 1,000 square
kilometers of land to Tycoon, Amanita, Genesis and local small scale mining
firms for manganese mining and explorations.

Chief Chisunka revealed that some mining firms have also resorted to
conducting mining activities in the area without his consent.

The traditional ruler urged the companies to adhere to the MoU which
compelled them to ensure timely maintenance of infrastructure such as roads
and bridges.

He said road and bridge infrastructure in his area were however in a
deplorable state because of lack of maintenance by the mining firms that
use the facilities to transport the minerals.

He further said under the signed MoU, the companies agreed to contribute
to the improvement of education and health delivery by putting up classroom
blocks and health posts in the area.

The chief said apart from offering employment opportunities to his
subjects, the mining companies should ensure putting up supportive
activities for the people to benefit from the mineral deposits that are
being exploited.

Meanwhile, Chief Chisunka has challenged government to look for reputable
manganese mining firms to invest in his chiefdom.

He said his area has abundant manganese deposits which needed to be
exploited by focused investors

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