, 7 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
In 2015, communities of Hippo Pool, Kakosa, Shimulala & Hellen in Zambia's #CopperBelt, accused Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a subsidiary of UK multi-national, Vedanta, of poisoning their water sources, saying their rivers had become "rivers of acid"
According to the communities, KCM had been spilling Sulphuric acid other toxic chemicals into the water sources. In May 2018, police in Tamil Nadu, India, killed 13 ppl who were protesting similar environmental abuse by a Vedanta-owned smelting plant
So, in Zambia, the community elected to sue, not before Zambian courts but in London, where Vedanta has its HQ. The company cynically argued the case shd be heard in Zambia (where it can manipulate the courts). The villagers didn't trust their own courts
In 2011, Zambia High Court ordered Vedanta & KCM to pay $1.4m to 2,000 ppl in Chingola for Sulphuric Acid & other chemicals spilled into their rivers in 2006, accusing the companies of putting "profit above human life". The Supreme Court minced the award
Overruling Vedanta, the UK Supreme Court decided on jurisdiction that the case can be heard in the UK. In reaching this decision, it considered the issue of funding (there is no funding for such litigation in Zambia) & the level of legal skills in Zambia
This decision against Vedanta on jurisdiction is a huge victory for communities suffering & dying from the lax regulatory environment that gives multi-nationals the latitude to undertake ruinous extraction with impunity, itself a major #HumanRights issue
It is beyond tragic that victims, described by the UK Supreme Court in is own words as "by any standards, very poor members of rural farming communities", shd be forced to go overseas to get redress. It says #African judges & courts must do more to show that #AfricanLivesMatter!
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