Simusa lifts Kabitaka housing ban
Solwezi, March 22, 2013 ,ZANIS– Lands and natural resources minister Wylbur Simuusa has lifted the ban that was imposed on the 500 unit Kabitaka housing project in Solwezi.
The ban affected all construction activities at the site.
Mr Simuusa said yesterday that First Quantum Minerals Limited can go ahead with the construction of 500 housing units at Kabitaka central while the procedure of land acquisition is being formalised with relevant authorities.
Last month on February 14, Mr Simuusa directed that all construction activities at Kabitaka housing project must be discontinued because of illegalities that emerged concerning the manner in which FQML acquired land for the multi-million project.
Suspending the project, the minister cited dispute over boundary of the land under acquisition as well as misunderstanding on the resettlement and compensation of the local communities as part of the reasons for his action.
However, Mr Simuusa lifted the ban on the project during a meeting convened to resolve the impasse on Kabitaka saying the move is in the interest of the PF government to deliver development to the people.
But he said no development activities must be commenced on South and North Kabitaka until measures are put in place to protect the forest reserves and ensure boundaries of the land are properly demarcated.
The minister’s decision followed a submission to the meeting by First Quantum Mineral country general manager Kingsley Chinkuli that the mining firm would suffer various litigations from the companies they have sub contracted to undertake the development of Kabitaka.
And Mr Chinkuli later told ZANIS in an interview that the company was happy with the decision made during the meeting.
Earlier chief Kapijimpanga royal establishment representative Mwepu Wamfumu and sub chief Mbonge complained over First Quantum Minerals abrogating its promises on compensation and jobs for local people.