Feira Independent Member of Parliament Stephen Miti has challenged Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela to visit his constituency and appreciate why locals want the Kangaroo Copper Mine project in the Lower Zambezi National Park to proceed. .
And Miti says he has reported the Feira Council to the investigative wings over the missing of K600, 000 Constituency Development Fund.
Speaking to journalists in Luangwa when he inspected some developmental project, Saturday, Miti asked Chitotela not to base any decisions on mining in the national park on hearsay.
“Much has been talked about the Kangaroo Copper Mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park and for your information, the same projects sits in my Constituency which is Feira. I am the number one spokesperson for Feira and our position is the same. We speak the same language and that language is, we need that Copper mine project in the Lower Zambezi. We have been waiting for so long and after the disposal of
the case by the Courts, we expect the investor to move in by this time. We know that once that mine is open, there will be some economic development in Feira Constituency which is lacking at the moment. Our
youths are literally doing nothing as you know this area is drought prone and we don’t do much in terms of agriculture, So with the coming of that mine which we fully welcome, we expect our youths to have some
employment opportunities and that will enhance our economic activities in the Constituency. I strongly want to advise and challenge the Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela that he should come down here in Feira and see for himself and understand the area, then he will be able to make informed decision other than basing decision on hearsay. So I ask him to visit Feira Constituency possibly go to the same site and he will appreciate and from there, he will be able to make a positive decision rather than what he is doing now,” He said.
Miti says government will disadvantage the poor people of Feira if it failed to allow mining in the national park.
“If government fails to give a go ahead then we shall be disadvantaged economically and this is why we are saying we need that mine. Since weare dealing with a listening government, we expect this government will listen to the cries of the people because I know that the President is aware of the problems here in Feira and with my humble appeal, I am sure we shall be granted with that opportunity. He will listen to the cry of the people of Feira. Once again, it is my humble appeal to the President that the investor of that Copper mine should be given a go ahead as it was done in 2014,” he said.
Meanwhile, Miti said he had reported the Feira Council to the investigative wings for the missing of K600, 000 Constituency Development Fund.
“The council is the custodian of the CDF and implementing agent at the same time. We approved a number of projects but to date, we haven’t used that money and I don’t understand why they are behaving in this manner. Our local authority, the management is becoming a liability to the district. People are waiting to see the much needed development, the government is giving us the money in form of CDF but there are all these delays when it comes to implementation,” said Miti.
“Money was given last year, money was given in December and this is December 2019, one year, we cannot withdraw the funds and in August after I requested for a bank statement from the council secretary, when I looked at the balance, I discovered that out of the K1.6 million which I was given in 2018, K600,000 went missing and it is still missing. When I asked him, he told me he didn’t know where it had gone because he had just come into that office so immediately we reported that to police, ACC and DEC our investigative wings who are on the case and I can’t say much because it may jeopardize their investigations.”