FORMER Lufwanyama Member of Parliament (MP) Mike Mulongoti says the appointment of former Press Aide Dickson Jere as Director of Lev Leviev’s team at Gemcanton Investment Holdings PLC calls for the Law Association of Zambia(LAZ) to revoke his practising licence.
And Lufwanyama residents have called on Government to revisit Lev Leviev’s partnership in Gemcanton Investment Holding because of his bad record of torture, human right abuse and smuggling of minerals.
Speaking on Prime TV Introspection Programme over the weekend, Mr Mulongoti said Mr Jere should have declared interest and refused the appointment as Director of the Lev Leviev team of Gemcanton Investment Holdings because he was their Legal Counsel.
“It is definite that there will be a conflict of interest because Gemcanton is owned by two partners, meaning he will only serve the interest of one partner(Lev Levies) he serves as a Counsel which will disadvantage the other partner(MMr Abdoulaye, Ndiaye),” Mr Mulongoti who is People’s Party leader said
He said this after learning that Lev Leviev of Frango Finance appointed Mr Jere who served as his Counsel to the position of Director.
In what could be a bid to cover up the clandestine activities bordering on human rights abuses,, Lev Leviev, appointed Mr Jere as Company Secretary , a position previously held by Mr Efrayim Yelizarov.
This is according to a letter addressed to Gemcanton Investment Holdings PLC, dated 19th November 2017, and signed by Frango Finance Limited. Headed “Replacement of Director in the Company”.
“We the undersigned, Frango Finance Limited, in our capacity as 50% shareholders in the company, hereby notify you with immediate effect that we have elected to replace Mr Efrayim Yelizarov from his duties as a director in the company. We have appointed Mr Dickson Jere as Director in the Company instead of Mr Yelizarov. As of the date hereof, the two directors in the company nominated by Frango shall be Mr Dickson Jere and Mr Eli Nefussy,” read the letter.
Despite bad records and torture of community members in Lufwanyama, Mr Jere has remained mute and still protect his bosses.
Lev Leviev is not physically involved in the operation of Gemcanton, but uses fronts, Eli Sher and Eli Nefussy who was deported on allegation of torturing Lumfwanyama residents.
Despite being privy to the torture the helpless community of Lufwanyama have been subjected to, Mr Jere who is former Media Institute of Southern Africa(MISA) Zambia has accepted the job offer from Frango Finance who now own shares in Gemcanton Investment holdings.
“Mr Jere went ahead to mislead the nation that El Nefussy was deported because of a matter which did not exist yet he knew very well that Mr Nefussy was deported because of the torture of the local people in Lufwanyama district where the investment is situated,” said a police source.
The police source added: “The torture, deprivation, harassment and the shame that the Lev Leviev team partners in Gemcanton have for a long time subjected its workers and the surrounding community to does not matter under the nose of a man who has served one of the most noble portfolios of Presidential Aide.”
And the source in the Ministry of Mines said as a Journalist, Mr Jere should be seen to be protecting the oppressed in society and not the powerful members of the community.
He said it is sad that some media houses make the oppressed look bad while hero worshiping the oppressors.
“At a time when most people thought the noble Journalist had taken to work silently after his tenure as Press Aide came to an end, little did people know that he was busy elsewhere, enjoying the fruits and dividends of a company he could have questioned following its history and records ” said a source within the Ministry of Mines.
Mr Leviev, who has been implicated in various human rights abuses spanning more than four countries, among them, Angola, Zambia, Isreal and Namibia, the former in which he fired the entire 150 members of his workforce at one of the diamond companies without compensation has been walking freely in the Republic of Zambia even when law enforcement agencies are fully aware of his misdeeds
“Jere, using his influence once fabricated a lie to the Zambia Police Services that Lev Leviev is clean and none of his fronts were involved in the torture of Lumfwanyama residents, but thanks to Honourable Bowman Lusambo who looked at the community first ” the source said, ” I am sure Jere knows the truth about the Company he is serving because there is a latest record of them being accused for smuggling diamonds in israel,” source said.
Mr Leviev, who is wanted by the Israeli Government for smuggling diamonds has raised serious alarm and uproar in Lufwanyama district, Copperbelt, where he is believed to have been using different methods of torturing his employees, but also denying the community the chance to access their only source of livelihood through the Social Corporate Responsibility once vibrant under Grizzly Mining LTD which has now partnered with Levi Leviev and changed its name to Gemcanton Investment Holdings PLC.
*GOVERNMENT SHOULD REVIEW LEVIEVE’S* *PARTNERSHIP AT GEMCANTON MINE*
Meanwhile Lufwanyama resident Chilufya Kalukusa Mubanga has called on Government to review Lev Leviev partnership in Gemcanton.
Below is a statement he has made available to Kwacha Newspapers
The continued diamond smuggling investigation of the Israeli-Russian Diamond Baron Lev Leviev by the Israeli authorities should make the Government of the Republic of Zambia also institute serious investigation and review his investment at Gemcanton emerald mine fomerly Grizzly Mining Ltd on the copperbelt.
Mr El Nefussy a representative of Levi Levieve was deported by the Government of the Republic of Zambia in 2017 for purportedly engaging in serious human rights abuses at Gemcanton mine.
Unfornately , no serious arrests were made to make him unwearable to the law for subjecting the poor Zambians to inhuman torture at Gemcanton before a deportation decision could be arrived at.
Government opted to deport him, and that decision has not set any disciplinary precedence to would be offenders.
To date,the issue of torture and human rights abuses at Gemcanton by Lev Levieve’s team has not been adequately addressed.
Many of the victims complain that government has not punished the offenders and feel such a precedence would escalate related acts in future.
Zambia is among the African countries where the world diamond baron Leviev has massively invested in emerald mining with very little Corporate Social Responsibility (CSO) going to the poor people of Chief Nkana and Lumpuma area where the emerald mine sits as was the case when the investment was wholly owned by Abdoulaye Ndyaye.
Apart from a lack of CSR ,Zambia has been a victim of dishonest by many of the foreign investors who come in and ignore the plight of the local people.
The question of Zambians benefiting from some of the investors coming in the country is becoming a thorny one, as locals seem not to benefit.
Whether or not some investors are worth hosting in Zambia has become a National debate.
People are wondering whether some companies are genuinely investors or coming in to exploit the country’s resources.
Very serious government’s like Israel have investigated some diamond tycoons like Leviev with very little to leave unturned.The Zambian government , like Israeli government should consider thoroughly investigating Levi Levieve’s investment in Zambia.
What is worrying is a lack CSR at Gemcanton from the time Leveiev came on board as a share holder yet the company is making millions of dollars.
Additionally, the restrictions of the local people to the Gemcanton dumpsite has adversely affected the poor Zambians who were known to survive on such dumpsites at the time Gemcanton was called Grizzly Mines under Abdalaye Ndyaye .
It is the local people’s considered view that the speed at which government has let go of the black mountain in Kitwe for the benefits of the local people is the same speed at which government should influence Gemcanton mines management to allow the local people who are currently receiving nothing from Gemcanton under Leviev .
When Honorable Bowman Lusambo was Copperbelt Minister, Gemcanton was restrained and started making headways towards restoring CSR, but upon his transfer to Lusaka, many of the strides made at Gemcanton were buried to the disadvantage of the locals.
There is fear that if government does review Leviev’s investments at Gemcanton, the people of Zambia will benefit nothing from the emerald mine investment.
While government is seriously looking at the empowerment of the local people in mining industries , it is the people’s considered view that the shares of Leviev at Gemcanton are reviewed to benefit the lower people .
Lack of regard for the local people in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility and unfaire trading habits have made different stakeholders wonder whether there is serious scrutiny of some foreign investors’ investment record before they can be allowed to invest in Zambia by the powers that be.