Zambia’s Attorney General annoys Mufumbwe people

…..For disregarding Supreme Court judgement over Kalengwa mine

The decision by the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to recommend the cancellation of the large scale exploration license for Euro Africa Kalengwa Mine Limited has annoyed the people of Mufumbwe that feel the action will sit on their right to benefit from the mineral deposits.

The residents who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Mining Licensing Committee accepted to renew the license on 28 July 2017. This was after the Supreme Court restored the ownership of Kalengwa Mine to Euro Africa Kalengwa Mine Limited in 2015.

“In that judgement, the Supreme Court ordered Hetro Mining Limited to both vacate and cease doing any form of activity in the area,” the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said in an exclusive interview.

The source said the arguement by the Attorney General that the renewal of the trading license should not have been done due time lapse is contemptuous.

He said the Mining Licensing Committee cannot be faulted for renewing the large scale exploration license after a length legal battle over the ownership of the the mine.

“We are aware that the mining Act protect the license of the matter which is under litigation.  This is exactly what happened to the license which was awarded to Euro Africa Kalengwa Mine limited in 2007.”

However, the Attorney General  directed that the license issued to Euro Africa  Kalengwa mine Limited be cancelled on account that it had over stayed and this is going to work to the advantage of the losing party i.e Hetro mining (Shawi) that happened to be the former clients of Hon. Kalaluka who engaged him as legal counsel when he was a private legal practitioner.

The source wondered why the Attorney General  chose to cast a blind eye on the provision of the law which protect investments under litigation.

This is a pure disregard of the the court and order on the part of the Attorney General. This decision is contemptuous and will be challenged  in the courts of law.

He observed that the action by the Attorney General is likely to work against the local people who stood to benefit from the mining exploration which was going to commence any time soon.

He doubt the Attorney General made a wide consultation to see the implication the government is likely to face as a result of the cancellation of the mining license.

“This decision will hurt both the government and the ruling party if it is allowed to proceed. It must halted immediately because it is contemptuous and politically harmful to both the president and the ruling party.”

When Contacted for a comment, Attorney General Kalaluka declined to comment on the cancellation of the Large Scale Exploration License but referred all the queries to the Mining Licensing Committee who issued the letter that cancelled the large scale Exploration license.

Hon. Kalaluka said in an exclusive telephone interview on Saturday at 13:00 hours that his role ended at advising his clients, the Mining Licensing  Committee.

Anything outside that, it is not my business. I will therefore advice you to seek clarification from the director from the Mining Licensing Committee who issued that letter to Euro Africa Kalengwa Mine Limited.

In any case, Hon Kalaluka said, he has not seen the letter which was issued to Euro Africa Kalengwa mine Limited and as such it would be premature for him to comment.

“Not until then, I will not be able to make any comment on the subject matter and that is the reason why I am asking you to get clarification the author of that letter,” he said.

However, efforts to get a comment from the Mining Licensing Committee Director Chibonga proved futile by press time as his phone went unanswered.

According to the letter issued by the Director for Mining Licensing Committee a Mr. Michael Chibonga on 4th March, 2019, the committee met on 1st March 2019 and considered  directives of the Attorney General to cancel the renewal of large scale exploration licence number 8584HQ-LEL given to Euro Africa Kalengwa Mine Limited on 2007 and renewed on 28th July 2017.

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