NDC national youth chairman Charles Kabwita says Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) should explain to the public why the Chinese have seemingly taken over the mine when there is still an active case in court.
And Kabwita has said Zambians are already resolved that they do not want a Chinese investor to take over KCM.
In an interview, Kabwita also asked the government to explain why they have settled for the Chinese investor when there are so many investors they can partner with.
“There are so many questions that have arisen since the takeover of…KCM and the liquidator has never responded to any of the questions from the public. As national youth chairman of the NDC, I realized that a lot of youth were and are still employed by KCM hence concerns we are advancing as a party for and on behalf of the youths. Is it true that there is currently due diligence being undertaken at KCM by a Chinese government-owned company?
What is the name of the company? And why were they selected? What deal are they being offered?” Kabwita asked. “Is it legal for KCM to be sold when the liquidation matter is still in court? Is this not opening up Zambia to an international litigation? Is it true that there has been a fatal accident at KCM smelter in the last few weeks? How did this happen? Do we have the skills in place to manage the smelter? What damage has there been? What are you doing to prevent future incidences?”
He further said the KCM liquidator should clarify why business transactions were being conducted underground at shaft three in Chililabombwe at mid-night.
“Is KCM smelter currently running? We want to know [and] if not, what has happened to it? These questions must be answered. And these are not political questions. KCM has employed a lot of people and if not taken with care, this will lead to so much damage to the lives of many people who reside on the Copperbelt. We have intelligence and we are receiving information to what is happening during the night. The liquidator also should answer questions as to why business transactions are being conducted at shaft three in Chililabombwe where they are going underground at midnight and coming out at 05:00 hours. If whatever they are doing has no corrupt attachments, why doing it at midnight? We want to know what they are discussing, what they are checking underground at midnight?” he asked.
And Kabwita said Zambians have already made a decision that they do not want the Chinese to partner with government in the running of KCM because their corporate social responsibility record in communities they operate from is bad.
“And the people of Zambia at large have put a position to say we do not want the Chinese to take over KCM because we know that the Chinese have never done anything in the districts where they are operating from as mine owners. Take for instance Chambishi! There is nothing that you can write about Chambishi. Chambishi today looks like a ghost town. When you go to that town, people there look as if buildings were collapsing on them and they are only survivors. Chinese do not have a heart for the people of Chambishi,” said Kabwita.
“Even in Luansyha, the town looks like there was once upon a time a mine which is no longer operating, but the mine is operating. So as people of Zambia, we have put a position and if we have a government that listens, they should take this position and put it into consideration. There are many people and investors who are interested to buy KCM and our intelligence tells us that the Government of the Republic of Zambia just wants to settle for Chinese. And the question is why?”