Lunzu quarry mining process to restart
Members of the community in Manesi Kapeni Village, Senior Chief Kapeni, Blantyre and Blantyre District Council have agreed to restart the process of quarry mining in the village.
There have been disagreements between the villagers and the Council over the government’s plan to, through a Chinese contractor, mine quarry in the village and use it for Blantyre bypass road construction.
The villagers accuse the government of planning to relocate them to pave the way for the mine. They also accuse the government of bypassing them in assessments prior to the actual mining process.
A meeting held on Tuesday and attended by Blantyre District Commissioner (DC) Bennett Nkasala, chiefs, Blantyre North East Member of Parliament Fidson Chisesele, Lunzu Ward councilor Margaret Mitola and civil society members agreed to restart the mining process.
“I hope that we will have a compromise now because it appears there are two camps in the area. People that are disturbing the process are not from the area. Some members of the civil society want to create confusion among the people of the area. The people had concerns and we addressed them,” Nkasala said.
The assessments will include issues of compensation, environmental and social impact assessment.
“This time, everybody will be taken on board. This will only include people who have property in the area but everybody who is interested in knowing what is happening would be able to know,” he said.
Nkasala said the assessment processe will take place in five days as companies which were awarded the contracts for the project are waiting for the resolution of the squabbles so they can carry on with the works.
Kapeni Village member Clement Jere agreed with Nkasala that the process should start from scratch.
“Although tempers flared at the beginning, we reached a compromise. We are now waiting for the DCs office to restart the process that would take all of us on board. We were complaining about irregularities and it was proven at the meeting that most steps were not followed. We are not against the project but we want justice to prevail,” Jere said