Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

Zambia: Nkomeshya Denies Involvement in Corrupt Mining Deal

Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo of Chongwe is making efforts to clear her name after a multi-million kwacha corruption scandal involving her daughter and a Chinese mining company was exposed recently.

Last month, there was an expose in which her Royal Highness Chieftainess Nkomeshya is connected to a multi-million kwacha corrupt mining deal in her chiefdom.

According to sources in Chongwe, the chieftainess has instructed her headmen to disassociate her royal Highness from the business deal.

But investigations had shown that the chieftainess may have ties to the transactions through her daughter, Mainza Elizabeth, and the daughter's husband, Lennard Kawanu. Nkomeshya has registered two companies named Busoli Development Company and Skyline Quarry Limited, using her daughter and her son-in-law.

The two companies have illegally taken over a large prospecting area from Indian investors under Vikram Investments Limited, who possess a prospecting licence and environmental authority from the Zambia Environmental Management Authority.

Nkomeshya's daughter Elizabeth and her husband have concealed their unlawful seizure of the mine by engaging China Jiangsu International Limited to conduct mining activities without any licences or environmental permissions from relevant government wings, claiming ownership of the land.

Vikram Investments Limited obtained a court injunction to stop the illegal mining, but Nkomeshya's firms and the Chinese have ignored court orders, alleging that the Chief's daughter did not need government authority and environmental permissions to conduct mining activities in the chiefdom because it was her mother's land.

In a bid to launder herself from the illegalities, Chieftainess Nkomeshya instructed 10 headmen from Shantumbu to disassociate her from the agreement with the Chinese.

In a media statement, which was endorsed by the headmen under Nkomeshya's Busoli Royal Establishment, it was alleged that some investors were trying to defame Chieftainess Nkomeshya using the media. They alleged that Vikram Investments Limited was not accepted by the local people to conduct mining activities.

The 10 headmen also alleged that Vikram Investments Limited was a purported investor who was bent on scandalizing Chieftainess Nkomeshya using the media.

"A purported investor has embarked on a calculated plot designed to mislead the Ministry of Mines and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) following media reports and publications," reads part of the statement.

The headmen further said that Vikram had sued 'other' investors over the disputed prospecting licence in Chongwe.

And its response, Vikram Investments Limited said press statement by Nkomeshya's 10 headmen was contemptuous because all the matters raised in their media release were in court.

"The press statement, which was published in various newspapers on Friday April 4, 2014 has been deemed by us to be contemptuous, malicious, dishonest, unfair, incorrect and meant to mislead and misguide not only the courts, but also the rightful thinking members of the public in many areas of its content," reads part of the media statement issued by Vikram Investments Limited.

The statement also said Vikram Investments Limited was an international organization that had been conducting lawful business in Zambia for a long time now and was in possession of an investor's licence.

In the media statement, Vikram Investments Limited appealed to the headmen to inform the people of Zambian people who owned the 'other' companies that had been sued and when they were registered.

"The headmen have accused Vikram Investments of having sued 'other' companies over the disputed prospecting licence. We appeal to the headmen to inform the people of Zambian people which these 'other' companies are, who the directors are and when these companies were registered," reads the statement in part.

The statement said Vikram was a responsible firm that does not use the media to resolve matters that were before the courts of law.

The statement said Vikram Investments Limited believed in the rule of law, honesty, fairness and justice for all and wanted to partner with the local people and other companies to contribute to employment creation and bringing development to Zambia.

"It is not our in plans and ambitions to bring the name of Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo (II) into public odium. We do not belong to such a league of investors who drag their Royal Highnesses into their transactions. However, we implore the Busoli Royal Establishment to call for a meeting involving all the stakeholders concerned in this matter in order to reach consensus," reads another part of the statement.

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