Njanji residents in Chingola living in fear, blame KCM for cracked housing

Hundreds of Njanji residents in Nchanga North of Chingola are living in fear over the continued cracking of their houses as a result of mining by Konkola Copper Mines.

But KCM and the Chingola Municipal have committed to the possible relocation of the community in Njanji area living in cracked houses in Nchanga North.

The residents have complained that nothing good is coming out from the mines apart from making their lives miserable.

“We are living in constant fear of our lives. We are under a death trap. Anything can happen at any time. We are not helped. We are in danger. It is only by the grace of God that we are alive today,” Melody Chiwala, a resident, said.

However, Nchanga member of parliament Chali Chilombo, expressed concern and called on KCM, the council and the community to find a lasting solution.

And KCM corporate general manager Eugene Chungu said the mining firm was concerned with the safety of the affected community.

He said KCM was willing to commit on humanitarian grounds if other stakeholders like Chingola Municipal Council would come on board and offer land for possible relocation.

But Chingola Town Clerk, Mutakela Kabombo, said the decision on land couldn’t be made by Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo, Buntungwa Ward Council Soko Mumba, and himself.

Kabombo said the council could call for an emergency meeting where all 27 councillors would decide on the way forward once all the details had been tabled.

He said the issue of cracked houses in Buntungwa Ward was an emanating disaster and the whole world would laugh at leaders and the mine if such was to occur.

Earlier, KCM management chased the ward councillor for attending a meeting he was not invited to attend.

But the Town Clerk demanded an apology from KCM for ejecting Councillor Mumba from the meeting.

“I’m not supporting our councillor coming for a meeting uninvited but two wrongs cannot make a right. There was a better way of telling him to excuse you from the meeting where Vedanta Mineral Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal was meeting KCM employees,” Kabombo said.

“Respect our elected leaders so that we live as a team.”

KCM apologized and promised to do better if such incidences were to recur.

Mumba indicated he was willing to let go of the 86 families who translate into voters if land would be found elsewhere apart from his ward.

         

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