A non-governmental organisation has cautioned the new mine
investors not to willfully pollute the environment despite a bill which
indemnifies them from litigation against environmental degradation. Citizens
for a better environment, a Kitwe based NGO, warned that should the new mines
violate the rights of the people to a clean environment, they would face the
wrath of the public.
Executive director Peter Sichamba appealed to Government to do more
consultations with stakeholders before amending certain laws to avoid exposing
the public to risk. He was reacting to the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill
being tabled in Parliament.
Mr. Sichamba said bills which have been passed with little or no
consultation had resulted in Government being forced to withdraw them. He said
the his organisation was particularly unhappy with a clause which gives the new
mines environmental indemnity for up to 20 years.
He said the new mine owners should know that despite that clause, citizens
had a right to a clean environment which they should not violate. He appealed
to the mines to generate wealth in a responsible manner and leave no
environmental burden for posterity.
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