Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalobe says government has directed police to man Konkola Copper Mines gates.
And the Mine Workers’ Union of Zambia says government should bring a credible investor to run KCM and not a Chinese investor.
Mwakalombe was speaking when miners led by their union representatives presented a petition demanding the immediate departure of Vendata Resources, the owners of KCM, in Chingola, Monday.
“I want to mention that all Cabinet ministers are behind His Excellency the President that indeed, enough is enough. The government of the Republic of Zambia is headed by a President who is a lawyer so if he has said what he has said, it is because he has studied the case and he understands that as a nation, we have to do things legally. And because we have to do things legally, we as government are going to take measures and one of the measures that we are going to take is to ensure that all the gates leading to the KCM mines are manned by Zambia Police. As a provincial minister, our directive as government is to ensure that there will be no scarp metal business that will be undertaken in Chingola and Chililabombwe because we want to ensure that this transition is taken professionally and that the people of Zambia will not lose,” Mwakalombe said.
And MUZ president Joseph Chewe said the union would not rest until the President’s promise of “divorcing” Vedanta was fulfilled.
“We are not going to sleep until they leave. They have run down KCM and there are no profits to look at in any of the two towns in which they mined and most miners have been relieved from their jobs without pay,” he said.
“As a union, we are sending a message to the President to find for us an investor who will run this mine but it should not be a Chinese investor, we do not want them, we want an investor who will bring employment for the people of Chingola.”.
He urged leaders to make decisions with the poor in mind, not themselves.
“They have stolen from us and it’s enough. We are not seeing any development from these mines and we have had enough of them. All those that are not bringing in any profits in the country, we will ensure that we send them packing,” Chewe said.
Meanwhile, National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) president James Chansa also expressed his excitement over President Lungu’s decision to “divorce” KCM.
“There is no foreign investor whose heart is for the people in the they are working in. The only reason they are here is to get the riches of this country so that Zambians remain with nothing but we have had enough of them and they have to go,” said Chansa.