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‘CRUEL’ MINER ANGERS VILLAGERS

…Illegal foreign miner harasses Lusangaza residents

SIMON MUNTEMBA writes

@SunZambian

A man believed to be of Tanzanian origin, has been reported to Petauke police for allegedly harassing and assaulting Lusangaza residents in Eastern province.

It is reported that the man, who has been illegally mining gold in Lusangaza district, has been harassing the locals while brandishing an AK47 rifle and 4 pistols.

Confirming the matter, Lusangaza Council Chairperson, William Banda, told The Sun yesterday that Misheck Banda, aged 34, of Sichilima village in Chief Sandwe’s area, was on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 allegedly assaulted by the named man.

Mr Banda said the people in Lusangazi area were now up in arms against the man for being cruel to them.

“Yes there is this assault issue involving a man believed to be a foreigner who was reported at Petauke police station for assaulting Misheck Banda. He was actually detained in police custody for 2 days. The guy who is believed to be Tanzanian is in partnership in mining activities with a nephew to Chief Nsandwe. Several village headmen and subjects in Sandwe chiefdom have now grouped up against him and are demanding his deportation,” Mr. Banda disclosed.

“As I am talking to you right now, the victim and suspect are at Petauke police where they are trying to sort out the matter and he (suspect) is pleading with the victim’s relatives for leniency,” he said.

Asked if the suspect has a mining license, Mr Banda disclosed that no person or company had been issued with a mining license in the district.

The Council Chairperson assured the people in the area that government will not allow people in the area to carry out mining activities without involving the local communities.

He said government had an arrangement in which investors were expected to plough back some of their proceeds to the community, in terms of community projects, development and creating job opportunities.

Mr. Banda urged traditional leaders to ensure that no one took advantage of their lack of knowledge to exploit them and gain from their God given natural resources.

Headman Sichilima, who is Misheck’s father, disclosed that last week, another boy who was herding cattle, was also allegedly beaten up by the same man.

“And this same man on Tuesday beat up my son (Misheck) to an extent that he was even vomiting blood and we took him to Petauke District Hospital where he was treated although he was discharged, but he is still unwell,” said Headman Sichilima.

“We have reported the matter to Petauke police station because he is armed. He is a danger and all we want is justice to prevail,” he said.

When contacted on the matter, Eastern province police commissioner, Luckson Sakala, referred all queries to his deputy saying he was on leave and out of the province.

“I am actually on leave and in Lusaka. Kindly get in touch with my deputy for more information,” Mr Sakala said.

But efforts to get a comment from the Eastern province police deputy commissioner, Sharon Zulu, failed by press time.

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