By CHUSA SICHONE -
THE Zambia Police Service has beefed up security at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) by deploying 50 more officers from Kamfinsa Mobile Unit to guard against invasions by copper thieves, commonly known as Jerabos.
The deployment of the 50 more police officers to KCM brings the total number to 100 in the wake of increased invasions by the infamous Jerabos, armed with machetes, axes and iron bars with intentions to steal copper cables and copper concentrates.
Deputy Operations Inspector-General of Police Malcolm Mulenga was confident that the increase in the number of police officers at KCM would restore a sense of security as the continuous attacks had caused
terror among KCM employees and Chingola residents.
Police spokesperson Esther Katondo said in a statement yesterday that Mr Mulenga gave the directive to dispatch more officers in Chingola recently after checking on the security situation at KCM.
“I have seen for myself that it is purely an act of sabotage aimed at disrupting operations at the mine, but people should realise that such acts have the potential to place the lives of employees at risk, especially those working underground as well as residents of Chingola as a whole,” Mr Mulenga said.
Mr Mulenga discovered during his tour that criminals had cut off a 200-metre 11-kilovolt electric cable, resulting in a power outage for four days as well as suspension of operations at the Nchanga underground mine.
He warned that the police would not rest until all those behind the acts of sabotage were brought to book and those engaging in illegal acts desist forthwith as officers were on high alert and
would not spare whoever would be found wanting.
Mr Mulenga urged youths not to engage in criminal activities on the pretext of unemployment.
He observed that the Government was losing a lot of revenue through illegal mining while KCM suffered production losses.