Educating our future vision has not been received well in Chingola where some of the youths have decided to do illegal mining than attending classes. They claim that illegal mining activities are more beneficial to their lives than wasting time in class when their friends are busy making free money. Their motivation motto is ”get rich or die trying”. These youths range from grade five, six, seven, eight and nine at that tender age deciding to do illegal mining than school, where is our country turning into. What is surprising, some of the parents encourage them to do that because of poverty. You can feel the reality of the situation when you spend some time in chiwempala, kapisha, Soweto just to mention a few. It is sad for the future country if nothing will be done by the relevant authority.
According to the survey conducted by the writer in the selected schools, communities and open pits in chingola revealed a number of strange things and disturbing to the mother Zambia. Things like putting on proper school uniforms when leaving home but divert before reaching school or while at school, escape at break time by jumping the wall fence or go through the loose gates straight to the open pits were illegal mining does happen and sadly enough these so call jerabo buyers or sponsor welcome them instead of sending them back to the school or homes .These youths when they are paid by jerabos, they do all nasty things like beer drinking, illicit sex and even shouting and insulting at innocent people in the community .Teachers are insulted and threatened whenever they want to discipline these erring pupils.
The bar owners also encourage the under age beer drinking by opening the bars as early as 05 hrs for these youths to come and drink especially on the pay day as they came with a lot of cash to drink and get into early marriages even grabbing other people’s wife’s because they swim in cash when they sell these illegal minerals to buyers. The local council is not doing enough to monitor these bars and school authorities are still sleeping when the situation is escalating like bush fire. The Zambian police are always on petrol in open pit but one wonders how these youths manages to enter and do these illegal mining amidst tight security from both state and private.
The escalating of illegal mining activities is as result of increase in number of Chinese nationals who are the biggest buyer of these illegal minerals. In lulamba industrial plots have been occupied by the Chinese and their companies are not even well labeled that leaves the community wondering what goes on inside these companies and where are the local authorities together with the ministry of commerce to investigate the activities in these mushrooming companies in lulamba.It is very surprising that one of these Chinese companies do all mining activities that range from concentrate process, smelting and other related procedures to produce fine copper products that is exported, the question is, do the local authorities and ministries concerned know that such kind of activities do happen without their knowledge? If so than these companies need to be investigated because the government is actually losing a huge sum of money through unpaid taxes.
These youths are capable of doing anything for money just to drink around, buy latest cars on the market and so on. They are becoming dangerous to the society and it is therefore my humble appeal to the relevant authorities to quickly arrest the situation before it goes beyond this stage for the safety of the society at large and better future for this youths.
By shi William in chingola