By John Chola
Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary Augustin Kasongo has applauded Grizzly Mining Limited for waging war against crime on the Copperbelt through interventions such as provision of transport with the latest being a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser valued at K1 million donated to the Zambia Police in Lufwanyama.
Mr Kasongo said Grizzly Mining Limited had been playing a leading role in complementing government efforts in various areas of need.
And Mr Kasongo lamented that the Zambia Police in Lufwanyama was faced with daunting challenges in enforcing law and order because of the vast nature of the district which also included lacked of transport.
The Copperbelt PS said Zambia Police in general and Lufwanyama district in particular have had problems in providing mobility for Police officers who were in the process of enforcing the law and order.
He said that it was not uncommon to hear police officers requesting members of the community reporting criminal activities for them to provide transport in order to reach the scenes of crime.
“This has had a negative effect in that not only has it resulted in delays for the police to deal with criminal activities but also put the lives of our men and women in uniform at risk as vehicles provided by members of the community don’t poses the necessary security features to guarantee their safety. It is for this reason that I applaud the gesture by Grizzly Mining Limited to donate this vehicle to Zambia Police to enable them carry out their duties of enforcing the law effectively in the district,” Mr Kasongo said.
He stated that due to the district’s vast nature, enforcing of law and order by police had been a challenge and that the donation by Grizzly Mining Limited had come at the right time.
“On behalf of the government I wish to state that we are tremendously thankful and appreciate this gesture which indeed is a true demonstration of excellent corporate social responsibility by a private firm operating in the community. For this reason, government will support your efforts in carrying out your business activities by providing a conducive environment for you to do business in. We shall also continue requesting that you continue providing employment to the local people of Lufwanyama district,” said Mr Kasongo.
Mr Kasongo highlighted that as a responsible corporate citizen, Grizzly Mining Limited had rehabilitated and constructed various roads in Lufwanyama making transportation of people, goods and services easy, constructed schools and teachers’ houses, provided chemicals to fight army worms and played an instrumental role in addressing serious agricultural challenges.
“The donation of vehicles to our Royal Highnesses, the same Police Services, and your support in various ways to government departments supplements government efforts in service delivery. We can be able to deduce from these so many areas of intervention that Grizzly Mining Limited has indeed been around for the people of Lufwanyama and we want to push a challenge to other mining companies that operate in this district to emulate what you are doing,” Mr Kasongo emphasized.
He said government alone could not attend to all the challenges faced by communities and hence it provided a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and in turn they supplement the state through corporate social responsibility.
“Therefore I wish to request the Commissioner of Police through the Officer in Charge for Lufwanyama to ensure that the vehicle is utilized prudently so that it can be of use to the community for years to come. Let it be used to respond to criminal activities in the district.
Speaking before her team handed over the vehicle, Grizzly Mining Group General Manager, Carolyn Sampa recalled that since her organization commenced operations in 1997, it had made several donations to various government departments and particularly the Police in the Copperbelt.
“We do appreciate that government alone cannot provide all the services that are required for its departments. It is for this reason that once in a while when we have cause to support in a way we rise to the occasion. The donation that we are making here today is not the first nor will it be the last as long as we exist as this is probably the third vehicle we have donated to Police in Lufwanyama district,” Mrs Sampa said.
Mrs Sampa said Grizzly Mining was inspired to note that during the few years of President Hakainde Hichilema, his administration had placed Police Service among the top sectors in terms of funding.
“Encouraged by this commitment by the government to provide an enabling environment for Police department to thrive, we are proud today because our gesture very much resonates with the government policy to support police officers and as a company we feel we have an obligation as a good corporate citizen to complement this noble cause by doing what we are witnessing today. We remain resolute to continue standing with the government by helping to make it possible for police within the areas that we operate in to receive the necessary support,” said Mrs Sampa.
She emphasized that Grizzly Mining believed that business houses, traditional establishments, and government, all had an increasingly vital role to play in overcoming the Police Service challenges.
“This donation worthy K1 million is in recognition of the role that the Police play in the economic and social development of Zambia as the institution continues to contribute significantly to the peace and security of this nation. Public order is not primarily the sole responsibility of the government alone, and that’s why our company has collaborated with other major stakeholders in an effort to fight crime and violence in the community,” Mrs Sampa said.
Provincial Deputy Police Commissioner, Simon Mbaulu stated that Lufwanyama Police Station covered a wide area with an estimated population of over 100,000 making policing such not an easy task without reliable transport.
“Such donation could not have come at the right time other than now. On behalf of the Inspector General of Police, the Commanding officer and my own behalf, we are grateful to Grizzly Mining for this noble gesture. I urge Grizzly Mining management to continue working closely with the Police in ensuring security in this area. To the officers under Lufwanyama Police Station continue working hard in the fight against crime which if left unchecked will make it hard for the area to develop,” Mr Mbaulu said.
Mr Mbaulu stated that a crime free district will attract investment that will in turn benefit the people of Lufwanyama, the Copperbelt Province and the country as a whole.