The Natural Resources Justice Network–Publish What You Pay (NRJN-PWYP) has aksed the Parliamentary Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources to intervene on the alleged gold mining by Crown Feeds Limited.
NRJN-PWYP, an umbrellanetwork of human rights organisations working in environment, economic andsocial justice said they are not convinced with the responses given by Ministryof Natural Resources, Energy and Mining that what is happening at the CrownFeeds site in Senzani-Phalula is merely construction for farm buildings and notmining.
The organisation also requested for independent investigators in mining and mineral exploration to evaluate the site.
Crown Feeds is alleged to be involved in illegal gold mining in Phalula-Senzani.
“We expected the Department of Mines to carry out these investigations in a collective manner with impartiality and take time to have the conclusions that can serve the interests of the public,” said NRJN chairperson Kossam Munthali at a press conference on Thursday.
Last month, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining issued a statement dismissing the alleged mining activities by Crown Feeds in the area following a visit by a team of technocrats from the ministry that was deployed to investigate the allegations.
In a in a statement signed by Principal Secretary Patrick Matanda, the ministry said there was no equipment synonymous with mining; no equipment for processing of the gold ore were found on site; and that there was no sign of transportation of ore to another site for processing.
Parliamentary Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources chairperson Victor Musowa said the caucus plans to go with a group of independent investigators who are conversant with mining, to investigate and report whatever has been dug out, and if at all there are any gold deposits in the area.
When called on Sunday, for Crown Group of Companies chief executive officer Vijay Kumar distanced his company from the issue, saying the land in Senzani-Phalula was sold to Central Poultry.
Central Poultry chairperson Riaz Kasmani maintained that there is nothing like gold mining at the site, adding that anyone who wants to verify, they can go and see for themselves.
“All we are trying to do is to build a chicken pen. People have been there and they did not find anything of that sort. The place is open, it is not even fenced. Let them go and do whatever they want,” he said.