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By NCHIMUNYA MIYOBA
The Zambia Metal Recycling Association says it is concerned with the high vandalism incidences in some parts of the country due to the scarcity of scrap materials.
Zambia Metal Recycling Association National Secretary Edgar Habusongo said the association has noted with concern that Southern province has recorded high numbers in vandalism cases of national installations.
Mr Habusongo said the rising numbers of vandalism can be attributed to scarcity of scrap material which has caused competition among end users hence affecting the prices of raw materials as the demand for the commodity is high.
“Vandalism in Southern province has gone high. Zesco, Zambia Railways and Zamtel have been affected by this. There has been a lot of competition in the scrap metal sector as such we can attribute the rise to the loss of employment and non availability of business opportunities in other sectors. Almost everyone has rushed into this business as they see it to be lucrative. Most people lay there hands on whatever the see because they don’t know how to buy materials,” he said.
Mr Habusongo said luck of employment has brought about new players on the market making the scrap metal business competitive and making prices unstable hence lending to the non availability of the raw materials.
He said the association is in a process of coming up with a task force on vandalism as a way to mitigate the vice adding that the association has engaged the Zambia police service to see how best they can help in policing in the affected areas to reduce vandalism.
“We are in the process of creating working groups that will help patrol the affected areas. Scrap metal clearing in Southern province has also changed. We no longer depend on the police to do the clearing alone, we are also using other stakeholders like Zambia Railways, Zesco and Zamtel. We are putting a stop to any conveyors of scrap metal which does not have proper documentation from stakeholders,” he said.
And Mr Habusongo disclosed that the association will soon meet end users of scrap metals especially the Chinese community to see how best they can work together in line with the scrap metal dealers act.
Meanwhile Zesco limited Spokesperson Henry Kapata said the power utility has continued to lose huge sums of money in replacing installations that have been vandalized.
He said that last year Zesco Ltd spent about K5 million towards the exercise making it retrogressive for the company.
Mr Kapata said vandalism of Zesco installations is reaching alarming proportions hence there need for communities to be on look out of people vandalizing national insulations.