Katokamema Mine saga in Kasempa

Dear Editor,

Allow us to air our uttermost displeasure on the manner the Government Systems are handling the Katokamema Mine site saga in Kasempa District. The site is situated 60km north of Kasempa District in Senior Chief Kasempa’s Chiefdom where there are deposits of copper and gold which has been surveyed, prospected and only waiting for the mining license to be issued by the Ministry of Mines to the Company owned by the Kasempa Community called Kasempa Community Mining Company. This is an initiative of Senior Chief Kasempa in conjunction with Save Rural Africa Foundation (SARAF), founded by the 288 Traditional Chiefs in Zambia whose ideals were to bring home the far fetched development in the chiefdoms in line with the PF manifesto, which outlines the need to establish five industries in each chiefdom in order to fight poverty and unemployment by putting more money in the pockets of the poor Zambians in the rural areas.

There is a contest over the ownership of the same mine between the Local Company, the Kasempa Community Company, which has a partner to provide the equipment for mining and finance the operations of the mine with an agreement of 20% and 80% shareholding respectively versus a company called Avarmma Mining company which is 100% owned by foreign Russian and Ukrainian Nationals. These so called investors have serious and questionable background and character. They have been investigated by the security wings for fraudulent activities in the manner they (Avarmma) obtained the prospecting license of the same area from Lion Resources, who were the original owners of the tenement.

The fraud ranges from forgery, bribery, corruption and illegal possession of fire arms and have been found wanting by the authorities. In fact these are criminals, whose activities are inimical to the security of the Nation. Records are there at Police Force Headquarters to prove us right. We wonder why they are not arrested or deported. The reason could be that one or two Senior Police Officers have been compromised by these crooked criminals for the few pennies dangled to them at the expense of development in rural areas. The Inspector General of Police could not be aware of this rot, had she been aware we know she could have released a whip on the ailing officers at Fraud and Crime Departments because, again, one or two officers were deeply involved working hand in hand with Directors at ZRA and Ministry of Mines in facilitating the fraudulent acquisition of the prospecting license for Katokamema from Lion Resources to Avarmma, where the Property Transfer indicated to have been issued on 28th June 2014 while the License transfer was made earlier on 3rd March 2014. This was a serious crime because the law stipulates that the Property Transfer under ZRA Act should be processed before the license is issued. As a result of disillusion of monetary kick backs, they became so bold as to undermine and mislead the Minister of Mines. We challenge these culprits to deny these charges.

Because of this nonsense within these Government departments, the Senior Chief has been wondering whether he is a Chief in his own Country or in a foreign land. He even went to a point of thinking that probably it could help to surrender his subjects and chiefdom to the Russians (Avarmma Mining Company ) so that the government can be pleased because government seems to be much interested in the Russians than the Senior Chief in whose land the mine falls. Ours is to protect our land, our Senior Chief and the interest of our future generation. We refuse to be manipulated and taken advantage of by those in government offices.

Our Senior Chief has been a subject of ridicule and the Russians want to reduce him to a beggar in his own land, and them to appear as the owners of the Chiefdom. We refuse this nonsense. For your own information, the Senior Chief has declared that he is ready to die for his subjects’ ideals of owning their own mine, in their chiefdom and country. He will not be cowed by a few selfish, corrupt individuals from his Chiefdom who are working with intruders, and they are doing so at their own peril. Let the Government officers in the ministries and departments involved in this issue know that we know who is doing what with who and on what benefit. Is it possible that a Zambian can be tolerated in Russia, the way Government is tolerating these crooks?

How do you imagine, people who call themselves men of God have also not been spared from being corrupted by these investors among them Pastor Kamayani cell no. 0955293858 of Kasempa Destiny Church and Pastor Chumbu cell no. 0975024554 of Calvary Church who have joined in a scrambled for evil money to defraud the people of Kasempa out of what belongs to them. The clergymen, who are yet to suffer more collateral damage in this matter, accompanied the Russians together with misguided and misinformed officers from immigration, ZEMA, Mines Ministry and few villagers to the site and harassed the people at the site who are stationed there to guard the equipment as they wait for the issuance of the mining license in partnership with the Community Company.

Among the government officers, sponsored by the Russians to victimise the Senior Chief and his partner, are on the following cell phone numbers: Immigration- 0955112821, 0950473111, 0977303716 (Driver), ZEMA – 0965 203508, 0977677653, 0955915460, MINISTRY OF MINES- 0977724369, 0969224402. These officers from these departments were corrupted and paid for the job they had to do. They received instructions from Yardley Kambembe who was indirectly the initiator of the whole programme. Kambembe is a known conman in issues to do with small scale-mining licenses. He is based in Lusaka, thrives and is specialised in swindling Chinese and other unsuspecting foreign investors of which Avarmma Mining Company is the latest victim. So, Avarmma Company to continue dealing with Kambembe at your own peril !

Posterity will judge us, if we do not stand up and create a better Kasempa and Zambia as a whole for our children’s children. It is like the government wants to negate its own ideals, as formulated by “King COBRA,” who had the poor people at heart with the view that they also develop from the doldrums of poverty to the zenith of the hierarchy of society where they will also be counted to be contributing positively to the well being of mother Zambia.

More promised on the matter!

Written by concerned subjects of HRH Senior Chief Kasempa

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