Home Affairs Minister Hon. Stephen Kampyongo has assured Chief Chibwika of Mwinilunga district in North-Western Province of Security at Kasenseli gold mine against illegal miners.
Hon. Kampyongo has stated that Police will not allow President Lungu’s directive to suspend mining activities at Kasenseli to be frustrated adding that necessary security measures will be put in place to ensure that the directive is adhered to.
The Minister made the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on His Royal Highness Chief Chibwika at his palace in Mwinilunga district today Friday.
Hon. Kampyongo said no mining licences have been given out for people to mine at Kasenseli and has warned all those mining illegally that the long arm of the law will catch up with them.
“Our coming is to assure you your Royal Highness that we will secure this place as we agree on the modus operandi”, Hon. Kampyongo assured
Government last year declared gold as a strategic reserve and suspended all activities at Kasenseli Gold Mine following a cabinet decision.
Hon. Kampyongo said it is the desire of government to see to it that the local community and beyond benefit from the resource.
“The natural resource found in this area must be harnessed for the benefit of the local community first and foremost and beyond,” he said.
He observed the need for police to intensify security in the area which has been invaded by foreigners from all walks of life who are buying gold from illegal miners
He said if illegal mining in the area is allowed to continue despite the Presidential directive and the community continue to feel excluded it may culminate in civil strife as the residents would also want to benefit from the resource.
Hon. Kampyongo thanked the Chief and his subjects for exercising patience as government works on modalities to conduct structured mining in the area which would also see the community benefit through the construction of roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure.
And Chief Chibwika has appealed to government to consider putting up a police station in the area to help combat crime which he says has been on an increase following the discovery of gold.
“It is important if we can have police presence here by way of a police post it will help us address some of these issues, being a border area we have all these people crossing both ways,” he appealed.
The Home Affairs Minister was accompanied by the Provincial Minister Hon Nathaniel Mubukwanu, Deputy Inspector General of Police Eugene Sibote among other senior security government officials.