Court halts turning game park into open pit mine

Court halts turning game park into open pit mine

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 07.00.22A Lusaka High court has halted a Canadian company’s process to start mining in a game park in the lower Zambezi.
Judge Mubanga Kondolo has granted an injunction against Zambezi Resources’ copper which has been given permission by the Zambian government to turn a game park into an open pit mine.
The Lower Zambezi National Park was due to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a result of the MMD government’s agreement not to allow mining there.
Even the Zambia Environmental Advisory Agency (ZEMA) rejected the application but Zambezi Resources appealed to the PF Minister of Lands Harry Kalaba who, on 17 January 2014 overruled ZEMA.
He, with full backing of president Michael Sata allowed the Canadian company to turn the game park into a mine.
Alarmed by this reckless behaviour from the government, a consortium of NGOs concerned with the environment went to court.
Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Forum which is supported by ActionAid Zambia in this matter was finally granted an injunction by Judge Kondolo yesterday.
‘The decision of the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection the Hon Harry Kalaba, is stayed pending the hearing of an appeal. An interparty hearing is scheduled for 18 February 2014,’ reads the court order.
This means that the government and the Canadian company will go to court to argue against the NGOs on February 18, 2014.
It’s a pity that the government we elected is siding with foreign companies against the interests of the local people.

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