MINES Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Joseph Chewe says government should not allow Vedanta Resources to take control of Konkola Copper Mines.
Last week the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the Lusaka High Court in which it refused to refer the Konkola Copper Mines dispute between Vedanta Resources and ZCCM-IH to arbitration.
This was in a case where the Zambian government, through ZCCM-IH took over KCM and initiated the processes of liquidation, a move that vedanta contested in the Lusaka High Court, and demanded that any dispute must be referred to arbitration.
Commenting on the development in an interview, Chewe urged government to appeal the matter and not allow Vedanta to gain control of the mine because it had “lost credibility”.
“Those people (Vedanta), we chased them, they failed to run the mines. So morally, the social contract is not there with the people. They failed to run the mine, they ran down the mine. Those people have failed to run the mine. What is important now is that government should look for another person to run the mine and pay workers and start afresh. Those people can no longer be trusted to run the mine. If that law is favoring the Zambians then yes, but if that law is not favouring the Zambians [but Vedanta], people who have never employed anyone since 2012. The mine is now on its knees because of them. Government must quickly stay that judgement and fight for the Zambians,” said Chewe.
“Vedanta lost credibility, they failed to run the mine, if that is the position, government should quickly appeal and stay that judgement and fight on behalf of Zambians. Vedanta lost credibility; they failed to run the mine. Let government appeal and find a better investor, those people have failed to run the mine. We are suffering in Copperbelt because of them. Have you seen even any people now protesting over payments, people are now fighting for jobs in KCM as opposed to fighting for payments.”
And when reached for a comment, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Richard Musukwa said the Ministry would soon issue a comprehensive statement which would allay all the fears and innuendos over the matter.