THE Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has yet again swung into action and ordered Zamastone Limited of Lusaka to immediately suspend its operations for breaching the Environmental Management Act.
ZEMA’s action resulted in the arrest of Zamastone Limited’s administration manager Chimuka Himachila for failing to comply with inspectors from the Agency.
ZEMA senior inspector Moono Kanjelesa led an all-female delegation from the Agency to deliver a Compliance Order signed by ZEMA director-general Joseph Sakala to Zamastone Limited but Mr Himachila refused to sign the document, prompting the inspectors to arrest him.
Through the Compliance Order, ZEMA has suspended the Decision Letter it had offered Zamastone Limited on May 30, 2014 for the proposed Stone Crushing facility until Zamastone Limited put up measures to comprehensively mitigate dust pollution from the four point sources of its integrated crusher.
“The Decision Letter for the proposed Stone Crushing facility by Zamastone Limited in Lusaka West is suspended and you must suspend operations immediately,” the Compliance Order read in part.
Debriefing journalists earlier, Ms Kanjelesa said the conditions in the Decision Letter were that Zamastone Limited embarked on a progressive rehabilitation, covered its crushers and employed a wet process to reduce dust generation and air pollution and handling waste in an environmental friendly manner and disposed it off at a ZEMA licensed site.
ZEMA has given Zamastone Limited up to October 1, 2014 in which to address the concerns raised or face prosecution.
Mr Himachila, who arrived about an hour after the ZEMA inspectors pounced on Zamastone Limited, refused to sign the Compliance Order as he did not want to sort out the matter in the presence of a group and insisted that he attended to one or two people only.
It was at that point that Ms Kanjelesa ordered ZEMA inspector Theresa Nabuyanda to arrest the uncompromising Mr Himachila amid resistance, as he constantly sought instructions from his superiors on the phone.
According to Ms Kanjelesa, Mr Himachila was arrested for going against the Environmental Management Act of 2011, CAP 111 Section 15 (5) (a) and (b) and Section 16(d) and was liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 2000 penalty units or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.
Times of Zambia