Thursday, 10 April 2014

Courts uphold stay of execution against mining in Lower Zambezi Natonal Park

The Lusaka High Court has upheld the stay of execution granted to six environmental organisations against Government’s decision to allow the opening of a mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park. This means that the Kangaluwi mining project will not commence until the final determination of the appeal to the court. The organisations are challenging the Government’s decision on grounds that it was wrong in law and fact because it posed a danger on many people’s lives.

Judge Mubanga Kondolo said that if he lifted the stay of execution which was granted to the organisations on February 18, 2014, their appeal against the Ministry of Mines, to allow the commencement of large scale mining in the national park would become nugatory and rendered academic.

Mr Justice Kondolo said there was no need for the organisations to specify or prove exactly how they were affected by the project as was argued by attorney general Mumba Malila because the consequences of damage could affect anyone. “I shall not pronounce myself on the rest of the arguments of the parties save to state that a damage to the environment is a matter of public concern and interest which affects all people born and unborn. For this reason I find that the appellants do not need to specify or prove exactly how they are affected by the subject project” Mr Justice Kondolo said

Mr Justice Kondolo further said that the stay of execution granted against the minister’s decision would not amount to an injunction against the State because it was not civil proceedings as contemplated by section 16 (2) of the State Proceedings Act.

Source: Anti-Mining in Lower Zambezi group gets victory against Government in Court - The Lusaka Times (7 April 2014)

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