SENIOR Chief Mukupa Katandula of Nchelenge District in Luapula Province on Monday appeared before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court on summons, as a shareholder and director in Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited.
This is in relation to a complaint that has been lodged in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court against Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited for failure to surrender two water permits to the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) within seven days as stipulated in the Notice of Surrender.
The traditional leader earlier said chiefs had not done anything wrong to authorize Luapula Hydropower to invest in power generation at the Kabwelume and Kundabwika waterfalls.
Chief Mukupa could, however, not take plea in the matter after a prosecutor from WARMA applied to amend the indictment to include two directors of Luapula Hydro Power Corporation Limited, Brian Chisala and Katambi Bulawayo.
Other chiefs who are shareholders in Luapula Hydropower Corporation are the Chitimukulu, who holds the stake on behalf of the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE), Chief Kapena (Nchelenge), Chief Mumpolokoso, Chief Mushota (Kawambwa) and the Mwata Kazembe of the Lundas of Luapula Province.
And speaking to journalists before he appeared in court, Chief Mukupa said Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited was one such project which was benefiting chiefdoms in the Province, adding that as traditional leaders, they authorised the company to operate in their chiefdom so that it helps develop the area.
In the matter before court, Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited, Chisala and Bulawayo are charged with one count of failure to surrender water permits contrary to the provisions of section 86 (2) of the Water Resources Management Act No.21 of 2011.
It is alleged that Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited, being a company incorporated in Zambia and having its registered office at Plot No. 62 Roan Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka, and the two directors between August 7 and 27, 2020 in Lusaka, having been served with a Notice of Surrender of Water Permits Numbers 10371 and 10372 failed to surrender the permits as required by Section 86 of the Water Resources Management Act No.21 of 2017.
And according to a complaint lodged against the said accused persons before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court, Monday, WARMA stated that Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited, having been served with a Notice of Surrender of Water Permits numbers 10371 and 10372 on Friday, August 7, 2020 failed to surrender them within seven days as stipulated in the Notice of Surrender.
“The accused herein contravened the requirements of the Act by failing to
Surrender Water Permits numbers 10371 and 10372 within seven days contrary to the provisions of section 86 (2) of the Water Resources Management Act No.21 of 2011,” read the complaint.
And when the matter came up for plea before magistrate Nthandose Chabala, Monday, WARMA in-house lawyer Chapatama Ngaba applied that the indictment be amended to add Chisala and Bulawayo as directors of the company as the second and third accused persons in the matter.
Magistrate Chabala in her ruling granted the said application to amend the indictment as the law allowed that an indictment could be amended at any stage of trial before the accused were placed on defence.
Ngaba then applied for an adjournment following the amendment of the charge sheet in order to serve the two other accused persons.
The matter comes up on September 21, 2020 for plea.
In this matter, the accused persons are represented by defence lawyers Jonas Zimba, John Mulwila and Chimuka Maggubwi.
Speaking in an interview earlier before he appeared in court, Chief Mukupa said there were rules and regulations that they followed to be part of the projects, adding that Luapula Hydropower Corporation Limited was one such project which was benefiting chiefdoms in the Province.
“Without this company nothing can be done. No wonder as chiefs, we asked the company to operate so that so it can bring development. We have many schools without power. We have problems in hospitals without electricity.
We are happy as chiefs to appoint this company to bring development to our chiefdoms. The project was not only benefiting people in his chiefdom but the entire country,” chief Mukupa said in Bemba.
He further said there was nothing wrong that the traditional leaders had done in authorising the said company to generate electricity in the Chief.
Chief Mukupa added that as chiefs, they were the owner of the land and had to bless every project that take off in their chiefdoms.