PF Kitwe District Chairlady Alice Siabula yesterday complained to Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe that the economy is bad.
But Mwakalombe stopped her in her tracks, saying everything was okay as seen from the massive infrastructure development on the province.
Last week Mopani Copper Mines demolished over 600 houses in Luyando community in Mindolo which were built illegally on the mine’s land.
The affected families have being spending nights in the cold over the past weeks.
Speaking when Mwakalombe and Nkana Member of Parliament Alexander Chiteme visited the area, Wednesday, Siabula lamented that since the houses were demolished, people had suffered, coupled with a bad economic situation in the country.”
“Yes, our people have erred by building here, but we expected Mopani Copper Mines to engage us the leaders. This decision is so harsh despite our people doing the wrong thing of building here. The Mopani came with a lot of police officers in the night of demolition, and there was some confusion. People started stoning the police and the ballifs. Ba minister, we thank you for coming here. These our people are suffering. You see the economy is bad and people here have suffered,” said Siabula before she was cut short by Mwakalombe who told her that the economy was actually okay.
“Ba Chairlady, the economy is okay. It is doing very good. Look at the infrastructure development on the Copperbelt! Copperbelt has received a share of the national development, so the economy is doing well,” said Mwakalombe.
And Chiteme said as soon as he recovered from COVID-19, he had to attend to the people of Luyando community.
“I had covid but after hearing what had happened here, I asked the doctors that I should come here despite having covid. If it was possible, I could be sleeping with you people here. This has made me upset. This is unfair. Mopani Copper Mines are inhuman,” said Chiteme.
Chiteme then donated K15,000 cash to help the affected families.
“I am told our Chairman (Copperbelt PF Nathan Chanda) donated K15,000 just a few days, but I am told only some few (party) individuals abused the money. Surely, even when you see people are suffering you go ahead and abuse the little?” asked Chiteme.
Later, Chiteme and Mwakalombe distributed some DMMU mealie meal, beans and Kapenta to the affected families.
DMMU has also supplied tents and food stuffs to the affected people.