By MAYA NTANDA –
BUSINESS came to a standstill in Kitwe yesterday when youths conducted a procession around the town centre in solidarity with the court order that granted them access to the Copper slug dump site commonly known as the ‘Black mountain’ in Wusakile Township.
The procession which was characterised by display of placards, jubilation and hooting of vehicle horns sent other traders packing their goods, while others closed their shops for fear of their goods being looted.
The jubilant youths conducted the solidarity procession following an interlocutory order of injunction restraining Nkana Alloy and Smelting Company (NASC) limited from interfering with the activities of the black mountain.
The order was handed over to police officers who have been manning the premises much to the jubilation of the youths.
Lusaka High Court Judge Mwila Chitabo granted the order in the case in which Lunga Mineral and Exploration Limited as the plaintiff had applied for an injunction restraining the defendants, NASC from interfering with activities at the black mountain.
Mr Justice Chitabo ordered that the plaintiffs, with the aid of court certified bailiffs, police officers, be at liberty to take immediate possession of the property from any person in possession of the said property.
The plaintiffs were to be handed the property for purposes of commencing prospecting works at the site as per mineral processing licence until determination of the matter.
The order further directed that the plaintiffs and the local community it has partnered with, be given reasonable, unfettered and immediate access to the process area.
“The interlocutory order of injunction mandating the defendant to grant the plaintiff by itself, workers or agents from in any way howsoever interfering with the plaintiffs exclusive rights of workers of accessing the black mountain or transporting material from site for purposes of process is hereby effected,” read the order in part.
The order indicated that should the defendants whether by themselves or agents disobey the order, they would be liable to process of execution for the purpose of compelling them to obey the directive and may be liable for contempt.
The matter comes up tomorrow for hearing.
Small-Scale Miners Association of Zambia president Simon Njovu commended President Edgar Lungu for honoring his election promise that the black mountain would be handed over to the youths.
Mr Njovu assured that the youth would adhere to safety measures in conducting the mining activities at the site.
Vision Wusakile Empowerment Foundation chairperson Pavyuma Kalobo said the order was a milestone resolution by the courts of law and marks significant development to the community.