President Edgar Lungu says he knows that there will be suffering among the workers at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) before a new investor comes in, but assured that government will not neglect them.

And President Lungu says there are some cowards who do not want the KCM liquidation process to go through?

He said this upon arrival at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe airport in Ndola where he later officiated at the 62nd Copperbelt Mining, Agricultural and Commercial show.

“Even in the Bible when people were moving from Egypt back to the land of Canan, there were Kuwes (cowards) who even went back to Egypt. But I want to assure you that I will not abandon you, we are going ahead to find new investors. And these investors will not be interrogated by Edgar Lungu at State House but by the stakeholders who know better which investor they can partner with. They should not cheat you. I know there will be a bit of suffering but we will hold on. So nga uli wamwenso, shaala (if you are afraid then stay behind) while we go ahead with the decision,” President Lungu said.

He said there was no way government was going to U-turn on the KCM liquidation.

“What I want to tell you, is that we are resolved, we are determined to proceed with the liquidation process which we have started. At least we have decided vividly that Vedanta must go. I have heard some people saying ‘you made a mistake,’ [but] no, I am not going back on that decision. There are people, bakuwe, cowards, who do not want to see this process to go through and that we should reconsider the position taken by the government [and that] we should consider going into receivership or something like that [but] no, that is not what the Zambians are saying. The Zambians are saying ‘we want Vedanta out’,” President Lungu said.

“[They are busy saying] ‘no, Lungu will not manage to run the mines without Vedanta, he will destroy the economy,’ it will not happen. We are going to make sure that Vedanta goes and a new investor comes in and that is what we agreed. Those of you who are cowards and want to go back on this decision will be left behind but we are going to liquidate Konkola Copper Mine and look for new investors. That is what we are doing and that we will do.”

And speaking earlier in Lusaka when the Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa Company Limited delegation paid a courtesy call on him at State House, President Lungu said government would continue creating an enabling environment for both local and international investors to spur social and economic growth in the country.

“I am proud of you and will make sure that there is a win-win situation in every investment and even as we replace value added tax with sales tax we will ensure that necessary measures are put in place for economic growth to flourish,” ZANIS quoted President Lungu as saying.