By JOHN SAKALA
Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has today told Chingola based small scale miners popularly known as Jerabos to reorganize themselves if they are to benefit from copper dump sites like their colleagues in Kitwe.
Speaking at his Chililabombwe office when he met leaders of the Jerabos, Mr Musukwa said that Government can’t regulate an illegal entity, hence the call for self-reorganization.
He said for Jerabos to benefit from copper dump sites, they must move away from their bad behavior of causing chaos, intimidating residents or stealing copper from any mining firm on the Copperbelt.
“You cannot benefit from dump sites if as leaders of the group you encourage child labour or using force to break the Law. Government will not tolerate that.
“But Zambia has copper and it’s your birthright. Your Government wants you to participate and benefit not as scavengers but as a legal entity. You have genuine cause and your numbers are huge so Government is more than eager to work with you. I have talked to Nchanga Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo to provide that leadership,” he said.
Mr Musukwa said that President Edgar Lungu has given stern warning to his Ministry and Police to firmly deal with any bad behaviour from jerabos.
He thanked the leaders for making effort of wanting to know how to benefit from the mineral copper deposits Zambia has.
And Jerabos leader Kasonga Kabaso the owner of Spax Mining said the meeting was fruitful.
Spax said Chingola group was eyeing Chingola Copper dump site.
“This morning we had a fruitful meeting with the Mines Minister about the Chingola copper dumps, kwati ifwe nensala yalapwa apa, just waiting for our MP Chali Chilombo to finalise,” he said.