Riot police Monday morning thwarted plans of a protest against Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) by Nchanga PF member of parliament Chali Chilombo.
Chilombo had applied for a police permit to stage a peaceful protest against KCM.
The permit was initially granted but police later cancelled it when all groups had already mobilized.
KCM owes suppliers and contractors huge sums of money and it has retrenched several direct and indirect employees.
And speaking during a press briefing at Nchanga National Assembly Constituency Office, Chilombo said he was disappointed with police for cancelling the permit which was granted to the people of Chingola to hold a peaceful protest against the mining giant.
Chilombo insisted that he wanted KCM to pack and go.
He said the people had been patient with Vedanta but that had worn thin.
“They have failed. The mine has two options, to either recapitalize or give back the mine. And I have a doubt if they can recapitalize the mine because they have been making empty promises without injecting any money into KCM. Chingola is economically dead and people wanted to protest to show that enough is enough and they have suffered. The people have been denied the permit according to police for security reasons but I’m not buying the precaution story from the police,” said Chilombo.
“People can’t manage even a single meal because their lives depend on what they get from the mine. And this is the mine which can’t even pay its workers on time. Before this investor runs away, its better to act as soon as possible. People are not interested in any promise from KCM investors. They should just pack and go. They have been in Chingola for 15 years yet there is nothing to show of what the company has done for Chingola.”