Lufwanyama residents riot, two arrested

SCORES of residents in Chief Nkana in Lufwanyama yesterday ran amok and blocked all the roads leading to the mines in protest against the alleged tendency by local mining firms to employ people from other towns. And police in Lufwanyama yesterday arrested two people in connection with the protests that took place around 07:00 hours. Lufwanyama district commissioner Alex Kalela confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.

Mr Kalela said the residents burnt tyres at the junction of the roads to Grizzly, Kagem and Chibuluma mines. “This morning, the residents in Chief Nkana’s area rioted. The residents are not happy that the mines are employing people from the surrounding towns instead of the local people,” he said. Mr Kalela said the residents are angry that the local people are not benefiting from the district’s rich mineral wealth.

He said the local people want the mining firms to employ the youth who are just idling in villages due to lack of employment. And police officers in riot gear were quickly deployed to the scene to quell the riot as most motorists were stranded because of the blocked roads.

Mr Kalela said two people have been arrested in connection with the protests and are detained at Kalulushi police station. And Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo confirmed the development but she could not give further details as she was still waiting for a report from the officers in Lufwanyama.

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