By DERRICK SILIMINA
The Kapijimpanga Royal Establishment has acquired ultramodern offices to enhance administration and communication in the chiefdom.
Kansanshi Mining Plc has handed the facility it constructed over a period of three years to Chief Kapijimpanga of the Kaonde-speaking people in Solwezi District.
The offices at the palace include the traditional leader’s main office, a conference hall and kitchen and catering facilities. One highlight is a custom-made throne from the United States of America which was chosen by the royal establishment.
Speaking during the handover ceremony of the facility at Chief Kapijimpanga’s palace on Monday in Solwezi, Kansanshi Mine Corporate Affairs Manager Kyansenga Chitoshi said on behalf of the company’s General Manager Anthony Mukutuma that the facility would enhance the mine’s strong working relationship with members of the community and the royal establishment.
“It gives me great personal pleasure to handover this facility and offices built by Kansanshi Mining Plc to his Royal highness Chief Kapijimpanga today. It is our prayer that with this facility,our aim to keep up with the communication will be met and will even be stronger,” Mukutuma said.
He described the completion of the project as a fruit of a three-year journey that was started with the design of the building and later its actual construction.
Mukutuma hinted that the mining giant was instructed by the royal establishment to design a facility that represented nature and would fit in the natural environment.
“It is for this reason that the roof was thatched and we planted a lot of greenery around the facility and planted fruit trees to symbolize the fruit of the land,” he said.
The General Manager further highlighted that during the construction phase, several people from within the community were employed, acquired some skills and gained knowledge during the building of the facility.
Mukutuma stated that over the past years, the mining firm had realized the importance of having good, strong communication with all of its stakeholders.
“All our stakeholders are very important to us and because of that, we have made sure that every month we meet with our community stakeholders and we discuss a topic of their choice. For example, last week, we met with members of the community and our topic was health care,” he noted.
Speaking at the same event, Chief Kapijimpanga paid glowing tribute to Kansanshi mine’s various projects in his chiefdom, adding that the royal establishment was immensely and profoundly grateful for the work that the mining firm continued to do.
He noted that it was not only the office facility that the company had built, but the works include health centres, schools, teachers houses, houses for health workers, and the training of youths in skills development.
“As we speak now, we have a group of 25 youths that are being trained at Solwezi Trades Training Institute. We have others that are being trained as truck drivers and every month, about 10 of them are trained by this mine. So, this is a mine that has given us unprecedented support and we call this best practice. It is best practice not only in Zambia but we are comfortable to say that even in the sub-region.”
The traditional leader emphasized that the mining company was touching people’s lives where it mattered by developing sectors such as health, education, water, youth skills training and lately art and culture.
“We thank God for giving us such an investor. We have seen this love from people at Kansanshi and not just by word but in action. And so, we are here to give a blessing unto this our mine. Let this mine grow, let this mine expand and in fact I have seen it expand, employing and empowering more of our people,” he stated.
Chief Kapijimpanga further commended Government for creating an atmosphere in the mining industry conducive for investors like FQM to thrive with ease.
And moving a vote of thanks, Solwezi Deputy Mayor Alex Pupe expressed gratitude to Kansanshi Mining Plc for a job well done in facilitating various developmental projects in the district and urged other corporate entities to emulate the mining company.
“We congratulate Kansanshi mine management for a job well done in implementing developmental projects in our communities. We shall continue knocking at your door steps. Our feeder roads also need your attention as well as other education and health facilities in the district which need to be upgraded.”