UNDERDEVELOPED EMERALD-RICH LUFWANYAMA RESIDENTS DEMAND MORE BENEFITS FROM THEIR MINERAL RESOURCE
By Michael Kaluba
Discontent has grown in the emerald-rich Lufwanyma district on the Copperbelt, where various headmen and local leaders have expressed concerns about Kagem Mining under Gemfields, alleging neglect of the community and purposeful efforts to prevent residents from benefiting.
Some Headmen, accompanied by other local leaders, recently took turns urging President Hakainde Hichilema to ensure that Kagem’s social contract with the local community remains intact, claiming that the mine has failed to hire Lufwanyama youths.
Some leaders allege that the mine has refused to hand over dump sites for youths to scavenge and earn a living and that any attempts to do so have been met with ferocious security dogs, resulting in conflicts between the company and the community.
And Emerald Production Watch of Zambia president Musa Kafimbwa has expressed concern over the growing number of complaints from the Lufwanyama community about activities at Kagem and has volunteered to connect the community and the mine, including through road shows, to map a path forward for stakeholders.
Meanwhile, efforts to get Kagem management proved futile by broadcast time as head of human resources, Dr Wesley Chishimba`S mobile phone went unanswered.