Zambian Officials Linked to U.S $2 Million Mining Scandal

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Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma and Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge have been linked to a US$2 million mining scandal on the Copperbelt that has seen increased pollution after the displacement of original prospecting licence owners.

According to impeccable sources and documents obtained, the two government officials have also allegedly been offered an undisclosed monthly stipend by Chinese ‘investors’ on the Copperbelt.

This is not the first time the mines minister is mentioned in corruption allegations since early this year, this publication produced well researched articles in which Yaluma was directly linked to the grabbing of a prospecting licence from Indian owners to Chinese buyers in Chieftainess Nkomeshya’s area of Shantumbu.

Early this year, this publication also produced well evidenced articles in which Yaluma participated in the illegal transfer of prospecting licences to Chinese nationals through the Geological Survey Department (GSD).

In the latest scandal, Yaluma together with Mwenya Musenga have facilitated the illegal takeover of a bonafide prospecting area from Donald Investments by China Copper Mine Company in Chingola’s fistula area.

According to sources at the GSD and Chingola local authorities, the two ministers directed the officials in the two departments to ensure that the prospecting area in Kafisali area was transferred from Donald Investments Limited to China Copper Mines and threatened to sack any officer who would resist the illegal takeover.

“Initially the Chinese came and made an application for the same area that belonged to the Zambian company. However, the local authority in Chingola informed the Chinese that the prospecting area was for another investor. According to our investigations, the Chinese went to the Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge who later collaborated with the Mines minister Christopher Yaluma to instruct us to give them the area,” a source from Chingola said.

According to the source, the Chinese company has refused to observe any environmental and other regulations since it is involved in the production of pollutants that have affected the local people around the prospecting area.

“The company is involved in heavy pollution from blasting and copper trading even though their licence is confined to mining prospecting only” the source said.

According to a search at the GSD, China Copper Mine has no legal document to the prospecting area they are currently occupying.

“When you look at what China Copper mine is doing right now, it looks perfectly normal and legal, but it is when you ask them about their documents. They have nothing legal. This licence is showing that these are the mining details but when you go physically to the site, you realize a very serious irregularity because the Chinese are doing contrary to what is on their licence,” the source said.

Efforts to get a comment from both Yaluma and Musenge failed by press time because Yaluma was out of the office while Musenge was not accessible by mobile phone from the Copperbelt.

Meanwhile, the people living around the controversial prospecting area in Kafisali have asked other government wings and independent bodies to probe the standoff between the Chinese and Donald Investments Limited.

“The company is involved in heavy pollution from blasting and copper trading even though their licence is confined to mining prospecting only” the source said.

According to a search at the GSD, China Copper Mine has no legal document to the prospecting area they are currently occupying.

“When you look at what China Copper mine is doing right now, it looks perfectly normal and legal, but it is when you ask them about their documents. They have nothing legal. This licence is showing that these are the mining details but when you go physically to the site, you realize a very serious irregularity because the Chinese are doing contrary to what is on their licence,” the source said.

Efforts to get a comment from both Yaluma and Musenge failed by press time because Yaluma was out of the office while Musenge was not accessible by mobile phone from the Copperbelt.

Meanwhile, the people living around the controversial prospecting area in Kafisali have asked other government wings and independent bodies to probe the standoff between the Chinese and Donald Investments Limited.

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