Kalengwa residents petition Govt over lack of development

RESIDENTS of Kalengwa community in Mufumbwe district have petitioned Government over lack of development in the area and failure by investors running Kalengwa mine to provide corporate social responsibility.

The residents, led by the area ward councillor Kangombe Kalubi, presented the petition to Mufumbwe district commissioner Emma Mukokwe at her office on Wednesday, saying the investors that have been running the mine have not been looking into the plight of the community.

They told the district commissioner that Government should look for an investor that is going to look at the plight of the community by constructing a clinic and put more school infrastructure among others.

‘’Our cry as a community is lack of development in the area. Past investors have not been considering to plough back to the community. We therefore call on Government to look for an investor that is going to plough back to the community through corporate social responsibility,’’ the letter read in part.

‘’If the community will have to be evicted, we need to be involved in deciding the resettlement and compensation package, and a memorandum of understanding must be signed between the community and the investor before commencing mining operations,’’ it said.

In response the district commissioner told the petitioners that Government was aware of the challenges the community was facing and was working hard to address them. ‘’As Government we are fully aware of the challenges you people of Kalengwa are facing, and I can assure you that we are doing everything possible to ensure that your plight is looked into,’’ she said.

Kalengwa community is an old mining area established in 1966 and was operated by the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) until 1970 when it was closed.

The mine has between 2002 and 2015 changed ownership a number of times.