GOVERNMENT should quickly deal with armed Senegalese nationals at Gemcanton Investments Holdings Limited in Lufwanyama and other mines in the area before lives are lost, says Youth in Action for Sustainable Development (YASD) programmes manager Zebedy Lukwesa.
Mr Lukwesa said government should also investigate how the Senegalese nationals came into Zambia as expatriates yet employed as security guards.
And PF youths on the Copperbelt have expressed anger at the shooting of six Zambians by Chinese investors at Ebenezer Gem-field mine in Lufwanyama and have demanded for respect for the locals as the minerals the foreigners were extracting were the locals’ God-given natural resource.
Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr Lukwesa said the lacklustre attitude by security wings and the Immigration Department towards internal security was a source of worry.
He questioned how over 100 Senegalese could elude authorities and come into the country as expatriates yet work as security guards.
Mr. Lukwesa said it was disappointing that nothing had been done from the time some Zambians were reportedly tortured at the mine almost a month ago yet the very existence of the Senegalese in the country was questionable.
“Are we waiting for a massacre to happen before our security wings move in? If we can’t act on such serious matters, then what is our security system paid for?
“Let the intelligence at immigration come out of its shell and act for once before more lives are lost. How did these Senegalese come into the country? A lot of things are happening at the mine and we hope there are no big fishes who are chewing money to let the matter die.
He said Lufwanyama must not be a haven for criminal activities, adding that the Senegalese must be deported. Where are we going as a country? This is not right,” Mr. Lukwesa said.
And Copperbelt PF youth chairperson Nathan Chanda condemned the latest incident in which six Zambians were shot at by Chinese investors at Ebenezer Gem-field mine saying while the youths welcomed investment in the country, there was no justification for investors to start killing Zambians.
“As PF on the Copperbelt, we respect and appreciate any investment, but it should not be at the expense of our local people. What happened in Lufwanyama is regrettable. Our Chinese friends should never resort to taking the law in their hands. What we want is to see a situation where dialogue is promoted so that we have a win-win situation.
“We also want the Chinese investors to engage the state security, that is, the Zambia police in safeguarding their property. The conduct of the Chinese shooting our people over our minerals will not be accepted. This is our God-given resource and these people must respect the owners of the land,” Mr. Chanda said.