DEMOCRATIC Party president Harry Kalaba says the Ministry of Health should update the nation on the collective value of the money which individuals and institutions have donated towards the fight against COVID-19, especially since some people handling it have records with the Anti Corruption Commission.
And Kalaba has urged government to sit and dialogue with Mopani Copper Mines as opposed to addressing it through the media, so that thousand of jobs can be saved.
Meanwhile, Kalaba says Zesco should let the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to continue supplying power to the mines because it lacks capacity to do so.
Various stakeholders have continued making different donations to government towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Trade Kings Foundation gave K28 million to the Ministry of Health towards the fight against the pandemic.
Trade Kings Group General Manager Lux Subramanium presented the cheque on behalf of Trade Kings Foundation to Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya, saying the K28 million would cover three aspects, which included; medical supplies, prevention and information dissemination on COVID-19.
And speaking when he featured on Millennium Radio’s Interview program, Thursday, Kalaba wondered which Act the Ministry of Health was using in receiving donations.
“I was deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President, and the Disaster Management Act empowers DMMU to be receiving all those kinds of donations and stuff in a crisis like this because there is an act of Parliament that guides them. So I don’t know what act Ministry of Health would use to begin getting all those things they are getting. It is DMMU that should get those things. And because its the same government, they can work together with the Ministry of Health in ensuring that they distribute them,” Kalaba said.
“We know that Trade Kings has donated money, things, where is it? We know that other governments have given money to Zambia, where is that money? No one is talking about it. Let them give us updates so that things don’t slip away, especially that some of those people who are handling these things have got some records with Anti-Corruption Commission.”
And Kalaba urged government to sit and dialogue with Mopani Copper Mines as opposed to addressing it through the media.
“First of all, it is sad the way things are rolling out on the Copperbelt. Copperbelt is what produces for this country because 70 percent of our exports come from Copper. What I have seen between Mopani and government is that dialogue has been missing. Because government has been addressing Mopani through the press. We don’t want to see the same drama which characterised KCM to go to Mopani. Government must take a proactive stance. Instead of just talking on TV and radios and giving those ultimatums, we need to see them in a boardroom, locked so that we can get to the bottom of this thing. Even a picture to show us Mopani and government sited in the same room and trying to figure out a way in which they are going to solve this challenge,” he said.
“Remember we have 11,000 workers and when all is said and done, it’s those 11,000 that we should worry about. The scarcity of jobs is huge. Threats don’t work in today’s 21st century management tactics. You need to always find room to liaise so that you can even preserve those jobs. We need to go slow on Mopani. Intimidation will not work and it’s not right to proceed in that fashion. Don’t risk the jobs of the 11,000 workers at Mopani because of failure to handle this matter properly. Carelessness is not be encouraged because we need those jobs desperately.”
Meanwhile, Kalaba said Zesco should leave it to CEC to continue supplying power to the mines.
“The Copperbelt Energy Corporation needs to be given some support. Zesco in its current form doesn’t have the capacity to do what CEC has been doing. CEC has stabilized the supply of power to the mines. But Zesco which was doing bulk supply of energy to CEC wants now to begin sending power to the mines at a retail price because Zesco thinks it is one way of revitalizing their energies, its one of way recouping more monies for themselves. Wanting to get more money and providing a service are two different things,” he said.
“Right now Zesco is failing to supply even power to the industries, they are failing even to satisfy domestic demands, now they want to go into another quagmire of supplying power to the mines? I don’t think Zesco is ready for that kind of thing. Zesco must go in slowly into this matter and they need to take time to internalise before rushing to go and say ‘we want to be supplying ourselves’. Let them leave it to CEC to continue doing that. Greed will not help matters.”