The Emeralds and Semi-precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) has commended President Edgar Lungu for giving part of the famous black mountain in Kitwe to small scale miners commonly known as jerabos.

And Kalesha has advised jerabos not to take advantage of the part-ownership Black Mountain by using it to humiliate or frighten those that would have no access to the dump site.

Meanwhile, Kalesha has expressed confidence that the repossession of part of the Black Mountain will culminate into a reduction in the crime rate on the Copperbelt as youths will now have something to do to keep themselves busy.

In a statement yesterday, Kalesha stated that the decision by the Head of State to give part of the Black Mountain to jerabos was a wise move; because it would create jobs for youths on the Copperbelt, even though some sections of society were against it.

“The Emeralds and Semi-precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) would like to welcome the decision by President Edgar Lungu to give part of the black mountain to our popular friends called the jerabos, who in short are small scale miners. As an association we support the move because indeed there are less jobs in Zambia and this would create more jobs for our colleagues in this sector. Also wealth creation just for the economy of the city of Kitwe and just other parts of the Copperbelt will be facilitated, for those that will be engaged. We also feel that due to the levels of unemployment in the country, the crime rate had gone up but seeing that this black mountain has been given back to these jerabos, we can see that there will be a reduction in crime because at least now they would have something to do,” Kalesha stated.

However, Kalesha urged jerabos to desist from using their influence over the Black Mountain to threaten and humiliate Kitwe residents or other people who would have no access to the dump site.

“We also want to urge our colleagues who have been given this black mountain that they should be able to act soberly as they are dealing in this, we would like to urge them to be frustrating people. They shouldn’t also become too big headed that they start frustrating people that won’t have access to this black mountain. Let them realise that the President has done this in good will so that they could have something to do in terms of job creation and wealth creation. It shouldn’t be conduit for them to start attacking people, abusing and insulting people. I think they should grow beyond that now that they see the whole lot of the President making such a decision and seeing that some people are condemning that he made that decision. But for u as an association, we think it’s a welcome move because then those that are not employed will be employed informally. And also they will be having money in their own pockets to support themselves. So as an association, we have no objection to this but only hope that our colleagues will use what has been given to them in good faith very wisely,” stated Kalesha.