Police in Lusaka are pursuing a group of individuals said to have forged a letter purporting that Vikram Investment Limited had sold about 1, 500 hectors of land for which the Ministry of Mines had awarded the company a prospecting mining and quarrying licence to another company T/A Chituna Mining and Construction Limited.
Lusaka Province Police Commissioner Lemmy Kajoba said the police had received a complaint from Vikram Investment Limited proprietor Vinod Yadula to the effect that some known individuals had forged an offer letter purporting that an imaginary company, T/A Chituna and Construction Limited had purchased 1, 500 hectors at US$ 700 000.
Mr Kajoba said police were also aware that there had been wrangles between Vikram Investment Limited and a Chinese firm, China Jiangsu International Limited which was illegally conducted its quarrying and mining activities on the land in dispute.
He said the police was yet to interview the two parties over the disputed land but that investigations into the forged letter would be extensively done for a comprehensive conclusion.
“We can confirm that we have received a complaint letter from Vikram Investment Limited over a forged letter purporting that the company had sold its mining land. We have since instituted investigations into the matter and we intend to interview the two parties over the letter. We are also aware that the there was an injunction against the Chinese company. So until we are through with the investigations, we will not be able to discuss the matter,” Mr Kajoba said.
The forged undated letter of sale purported to have been originated by Vikram Investment Limited addressed to Joseph Tungati Kangwa reads in part: “Vikram Investment Limited is pleased to offer T/A Chituna Mining and Construction Limited the purchase of the Quarry mine in Shantumbu/Bauleni area consisting of 1 500 hectors. Our price is US700 000 (Seven hundred thousand United States Dollars only).”
According to the said letter over which Vikram Investment Limited has complained against to police, a Mrs Patricia Mwale of Emmasdale, Mr Henry Dijimu of Kabulonga, Mr Lucky Phiri of Kawala South and Mr John Abel Phiri had the sale mandate for the quarry under theprospecting mining and quarrying licence number 16703-HQ-LPL.
The letter purporting that Vikram Investment Limited had sold his mining and quarrying land was signed by Mrs Mwale and Mr Dijimu but the two could not be contacted as the contact numbers they had indicated on the letter were all invalid.
In July 2013, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development through its Mines Safety Department approved Vikram Investment Limited environmental project brief and advised the company to commence its mining and quarrying activities.
Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary in October 2013 reported China Jiangsu International, together with Economic Technical Company Zambia Limited, Skyline Quarry Limited, George Mwamba and Busoli Development Company to police for defying orders to cease their illegal mining activities.
According to a letter dated 4th October 2013 addressed to the Transparency International Zambia signed by Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Victor Mutambo, Vikram Investment Limited had been duly awarded licence number 16703-HQ-LPL but China Jiangsu encroached the area covering the prospective licence with the help of Busoli Development Company.
Mr Mutambo in the letter to TIZ explained that China Jiangsu had unscrupulously through a third party company Busoli Development Company obtained surface rights for Vikram land from Chieftainess Nkomesha Mukamambo II.