25 March 2014

Zambia: Chinese Miner Summoned By Environmental Authorities

China Jiangsu International, a Chinese company linked to Chieftainess Nkomeshya and her daughter has has been summoned by the Zambia Environmental Management Authority for possible punishment for defying a court injunction, operating a mine without relevant licences and encroaching on another person's mine licence area.

China Jiangsu is operating as an agent for Chieftainess Nkomeshya's daughter Mainza Elizabeth Nkomeshya Kawanu who together with her husband Lenard Kawanu have registered two companies Busoli Development Company and Skyline Quarry Limited. The two ccompanies together with China Jiangsu have enchroached on the mine belonging to Vikram Investments Limited. Nkomeshya's companies are using the Chinese to conducting illegal mining activities because they do not have relevant licences from ZEMA and the ministry of mines.

Last week, it was established that Nkomeshya's companies have ignored a court injunction that restrains them from conducting any mining activities until the dispute with Vikram Investments Limited was resolved.

Investigative journalists from MUVI TV television and the Zambia Daily Nation were almost fired at by the Chinese during their course of news gathering.

According to ZEMA, China Jiangsu has been summoned justify why it had ignored a lawful High Court order that restrains it from conducting the mining activities.

According to ZEMA public relations officer Irene Chipili, China Jiangsu International Limited and Vikram Investment Limited, the lawful owner of the land in question were summoned for a meeting last week but that the Chinese company blatantly refused to show up for meeting.

She said the agency had summoned the two companies with the hope of resolving the matter but the Chinese company was refusing to comply with the orders.

She said she a comprehensive statement would be available after meeting the two companies China Jiangsu International, Busoli Development Company, Skyline Quarry Limited, Economic Technical Co (Z) Limited and George Mwamba and Mukuka Munkonge who are brothers to former Defence Minister Geofrrey Bwalya Mwamba.

"These companies have disregarded a High Court injunction and have grabbed a mining area dully given to Vikram Investment Limited and have started quarrying and mining activities without a valid licence," she said.

Investigations show that GBM's brothers and Nkomeshya's daughter Elizabeth and her husband Lenard Kawanu, using the Chinese and their fake companies have encroached on prospecting area number 16703-HQ-LPL that was dully awarded to Vikram Investment Limited by the Mines. Lennard Kawanu is the Senior Manager for Brand Communication at MTN Zambia. He also sits on the Football Association of Zambia committee. He has links with Rock FM, a Lusaka based radio station, where his wife Elizabeth Nkomeshya is a disk jockey.

According to documents obtained by the Daily Nation, Vikram Investment Limited was awarded a large scale prospecting licence number 16703-HQ-LPL in Shantumbu area in Chongwe but before the company could commence its mining activities, China Jiangsu International Limited unscrupulously moved on the site and started quarrying without licences such as an Environmental Impact Assessment report and the mining licence itself.

Vikram Investment Limited obtained a court injunction to restrain Jiangsu and Skyline Quarry Limited and Busoli Development Company from conducting mining activities on its large scale prospecting area but even after the injunction was granted, the firms using the Chinese company have continued the illegal quarrying.

Vikram Investments Limited had applied for the large scale prospecting licence and the ministry of mines dully gave the company the licence and the Zambia Environmental and Management Agency had approved the environmental project brief and granted Vikiram Investments Limited to commence its mining activities.

Some village headmen talk to said it was Chieftainess Nkomeshya who had directed them to ignore Vikram Investments Limited, the lawful owners of the mine in order to allow her daughter, GBM's brothers and the Chinese to take over the mine.

Some village headmen said Chieftainess Nkomeshya was adamant that the government could keep its laws and she would also keep her land and decide what to do with the resources as she pleases.

"The Chieftainess has said this is her land and it is up to her to decide what to do with it. This is where the problem is. There is her daughter involved but the people from Vikram also feel abused becaue they have all the relevant documents from the government," one headman said.

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