Businessman sues State

A prominent Kitwe business executive has sued the commanding officer at Kamfinsa mobile unit and the Attorney General for allegedly detaining his heavy equipment machines at the slug dump popularly known as” black mountain” in Wusakile Township.

In a statement of claim in the Kitwe High Court, BEM Motors and Mbachi Nkwazi as plaintiffs in the matter are seeking an order of possession of heavy equipment machines and payment of US$ 396,000 for loss of business.

The Attorney General has been sued in his capacity as the Government Chief legal advisor.

In his affidavit, Mr Nkwazi, the director at BEM Motors has said the company deals in hiring out heavy equipment machines.

He has explained that on March 25 this year, Government gave the black mountain which has low Copper contents to Wusakile community to mine, benefit and exhaust the minerals as a way of alleviating poverty levels among the residents.

In April, the community hired the heavy equipment machines from the plaintiffs for use in mining and transporting of the copper ore within the black mountain area in Wusakile township.

Mr Nkwazi said a verbal agreement was entered between the community and the plaintiffs and the machines were hired at a total rate of US4, 400 per day.

He said within the month of April, the defendants decided to stop the community from carrying out mining activities at the site.

Mr Nkwazi said the community was advised to form cooperatives for them to be allocated specific areas within the black mountain and further that all the heavy equipment machines should not be removed from the site until further notice.

He stated that the defendants brought a contingent of mobile unit police officers to secure and guard the black mountain as a prohibited area.

Mr Nkwazi said the heavy equipment have been under the custody of the defendants thereby making it impossible for the plaintiffs to retrieve the machines. “From the time, the defendants brought a contingent of mobile unit police officers to secure and guard the black mountain as a prohibited area, efforts to retrieve the heavy equipment machines from the site at Wusakile black mountain have proved futile making the plaintiffs suffer and continue to suffer damages and loss of business due to lack of use of the said machines,” read the affidavit in part.

The plaintiffs are further seeking an order for preservation and detention of the heavy equipment, namely an excavator and a pump truck engine.