Kitwe Jerabos run amok…after Govt tried to stop them from mining at a sinkhole in Chamboli
Written by Millennium on July 24, 2019
ROGERS KALERO writes
ILLEGAL miners and residents of Chamboli Township in Kitwe yesterday ran amok, destroying property and blocking the roads in a riot that was ignited by police officers who went to forcefully remove them from mining at a local sinkhole.
Copperbelt Police Chief Charity Katanga and Wusakili Member of Parliament Pavyuma Kalobo confirmed the riot in two separate interviews, but could not give full details by press time.
But when contacted for a comment, Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu confirmed the riot, but could equally not give full details as to what exactly transpired.
The riot erupted after police in riot gear went to the sinkhole to forcefully remove the illegal miners, but the Jerabos, mostly the youths became riotous and resorted to attacking innocent people, damaging property and blocking the roads.
Mr Kalobo confirmed receiving the report of the riot and condemned the police for going to the sinkhole with force thereby igniting a riot.
He also condemned the youths who resorted to attacking innocent people, damaging property and blocking the roads after an encounter with the police.
“Yes, I have been informed about the riot in Chamboli, and I can say that if it is true that the youths ran amok beating up innocent people and damaging property, then I condemn such kind of behavior because I am a law maker and so I should not entertain lawlessness,
“Having said that, I also seriously condemn the police officers for going to the sinkhole to remove the youths using force because that matter is being addressed by the office of the provincial minister Japhen Mwakalombe,” Mr Kalobo said.
Mr Kalobo also condemned whoever sent police officers to go and remove the youths using force when the matter was receiving serious attention from the office of the provincial minister.
He explained that the issue of the sink hole was also set to receive attention from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Mines and Mineral development, but he was shocked that people who wanted to serve their own interests decided to send officers to use force on the youths
He warned that he would soon expose the person who sent police officers to the sink hole when engagement was the best way of addressing the problem.
“I know the one who set police officers on youths at the sinkhole and I can tell you that it is a matter of time, I will expose him. His behavior shows lack of leadership and I condemn his actions,
“If he has no capacity to provide leadership, he should have consulted me on this matter, instead of sending police officers and causing a riot,” he said.
Mr Kalobo however said he had engaged the youths over the matter and by 12.40 hours, they had started unblocking the roads.
“I have engaged the youths who were rioting and I have told them to remove the logs from the roads which they used to block the roads during the riot. They are now unblocking the roads,” he said.