Police in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, Friday arrested six environmental activists who staged a peaceful protest outside the Pamodzi Hotel, where Zambian Vice President Guy Scott was having a meeting with a delegation from Australia and Ministers from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
PANA reports that the activists carried placards condemning mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park and calling on the government of Western Australia to stop the planned investment in Zambia.
According to the state-run Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation, the six environmental activists are still being detained at the Lusaka Central Police Station, where they are being questioned by police officers.
Civil society organisations here have condemned government’s decision to approve the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the Kangaluwi Mining Project by Zambezi Resources Limited, saying the project had been rejected by many stakeholders and would be a national tragedy.
In September 2012, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) rejected the proposed large-scale mining activities in Lower Zambezi National Park based on solid technical grounds.
Zambezi was granted a large-scale mining licence for its Kangaluwi copper project, 180km east of Lusaka, by government in March 2011 on the condition of approval of an Environmental Impact Statement, but ZEMA in September 2012 said it did not approve the EIS.
But the government recently announced the approval of the EIS of the Kangaluwi Mining Project, and said there were adequate cost effective technologies and methods available to address all potential impacts that could arise.