—–Construction of the US $10 million Steel Plant in Kalulushi hangs in a balance following unresolved issues of compensation to people occupying the land to house the plant.
Residents of Kalulushi have asked the local authority to amicably resolve issues surrounding the allocation of land to a Chinese firm for the establishment of a steel plant in the area.
Construction of the steel plant by JINIA Steel Limited has not started due to unresolved issues of compensation for people living in the area earmarked for the steel plant.
JINIA Steel Limited had already started clearing the land to pave way for construction works, but works delayed due to unresolved issues with the residents.
At a meeting to solvethe problem, Kalulushi District Commissioner, Kampamba Mulenga, said the residents complained that they risked being evicted from their land without compensation if the issue was not handled properly.
The residents told the DC that they welcomed the establishment of the steel plant as they would be able to get jobs, but they wanted to be fully compensated if they were to be evicted from the land.
The residents wanted the local authority to clearly demarcate the area and ensure that only those that lived on the land where the steel plant would be constructed were to be compensated.
But Mr Mulenga assured the residents that everything would be resolved and urged the Chinese investor to exhaust the right procedures before construction starts.
And a representative of the Chinese investor, John Simumba, said all the problems would be sorted out before construction starts.
Mr Simumba urged the residents to also consider the benefits that would come with the steel plant in terms of jobs and development of the district.
The 80-hectare land had been given to the Chinese investor in Chambishi’s Mukulumpe area.