KONKOLA COPPER Mines (KCM) and Chingola district commissioner Toby Maliti were forced to plead with residents of Mine Police Township in Chingola not to g o ahead with their 48 hours ultimatum.
This was after the residents had given KCM 48 hour-ultimatum to either relocate them or switch of the 33 kilo volts overhead power lines passing over their houses and failure to which the residents resolved to cut the lines.
Speaking for the residents during the forum Bwalya Lubumbe said for the past 13 years the residents had been dealing with the same problem and no tangible result had been realised.
He said KCM was quick to go on air to amass self praise and win public sympathy whenever they had done a little thing even those that were their obligations.
Mr Lubumbe said the residents had given KCM two options either to switch off the overhead power lines or relocate the residents who claimed had been suffering from leukemia, unceasing headaches and several abortions related to radiations from the high voltage.
He said for the past 13 years the residents had been battling with the matter and were very happy after the Republican President Rupiah Banda had on December 8, 2010 decreed that there should be no one living under overhead power lines during the opening of Soweto market.
He said on several occasions, the overhead lines got cut due to heating and the only fortunate part was that the live wire didn’t touch the wet group.
Mr Lubumbe said the residents did want to wait until the disaster happens before acting as it happen when 10 mines at Nchanga open pit lost their lives.
He said on several times before the fatal disaster that claimed lives the mining authority was told that the ground was moving but there was no action until that fateful day.
And Mr Maliti said the Presidential decree should be followed and asked KCM to quickly resolve the problem but as under fire of time frame forcing him to physically kneel down and plead with the residents.
He said the residents had waited for so long and it was not difficult to wait for one month in which KCM had promised to divert the line supplying power to Nchanga Open pit.
And KCM Nchanga Mine Electrical Engineer Lovemore Phiri said KCM had already ordered the underground cables with equal 33KV power capacity and soon Copperbelt Energy Company would start working on diversion of the line.
He said the contractor who was awarded with contract failed to do the job as the line in question involved high voltage and only needed experts such as CEC.
Mr Phiri said the 48 hours ultimatum was over demanding and pleaded with the residents top give KCM one month in which to work and finish the problem.