Lunshya Copper Mines (LCM)
Lunshya Copper Mines (LCM)

Miners who were sent on forced leave by Luanshya Copper Mines in Luanshya this morning took to the streets in Roan Township blocking the Roan -Mpatamato road in a near riotous protest.

The miners are rejecting the K900 monthly salary effected this month.

And Luanshya District Commissioner Harold Mbaulu expressed disappointment at the action saying protesting was a sign of disrespect and lack of confidence in President Edgar Lungu who was in the province to address the issue among other challenges.

The irate miners, who gathered outside the Mine Workers Union of Zambia Roan Branch office, took to the streets after a failed attempt by District Commissioner Mbaulu to resolve the matter.

The miners demanded to meet the union representatives who were not in their offices.

The miners placed big logs across the road as they started throwing stones to oncoming vehicles, prompting police officers in riot gear to swing into action.

The miners were demanding for among other things to have their full salaries restored, know the date the LMC Baluba shaft would open and resume work, maintaining of their full pension and also to have direct audience with President Lungu and not through their unions when he visits the district on Tuesday next week.

They complained that this was not the first time the mine in Luanshya had gone on care and maintenance as this has happened on three occasions and all the time they got their full salaries, but wondered what was special this time around.

They complained that their salaries were negative as the banks were deducting the loans owed to them and that they were also faced with legal litigations as they were failing to pay back to other institutions and people they owed.

But Mr. Mbaulu assured the miners of government intervention into their requests saying President Lungu was on their side and that was why he was going to visit the district on Tuesday to resolve the mine issues once and for all.

He begged the miners to remain calm, noting that their grievances were genuine and that government was doing everything possible to safeguard their interests.

He implored the miners and other Luanshya residents to show solidarity to the President by remaining peaceful and present their petitions through a right channel to ensure that President Lungu attended to their plight.

Mr Mbaulu further urged the miners not to politicise the issue by refusing to dialogue and persisting to take a violent course as this will spoil their opportunity to be heard and have their grievances addressed.

About 1,640 employees at LMC Luanshya copper mines two months ago were sent on forced leave following Baluba mine being put on care and maintenance.

The action has seen miners getting a minimum of K900 salary from the initial K2800 for the least paid workers.

Last month, Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili assured the miners that government had engaged LMC on the matter and that they were going to continue receiving their full salaries despite being sent on forced leave.

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14 COMMENTS

    • The situation is getting desperate. K900 minus deductions by the banks is nothing. Now it is to eat porridge or nshima without relish.

      Mr. D.C. demonstrating is not disrespecting the president, as for confidence I shall not comment. Anyways are people not supposed to air their grievances anymore?? Iyoo it’s disrespect. Which planet? Things are bad even Kambwili knows that. Feel sorry for the urban dwellers. No fields, no gardens. Things are tough.

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    • Whats going on at the Infamous Mine? Lungu is in Copala, PF Minister almost lynched by PF Cadre…..PF is falling like a pack of cards; on its own with no help at all.

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  1. What did the president do for this fate?. everything is going parallel to the needs of the Zambian. Mr president sir pull up your socks we want resque from this danger.

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  2. have faith God wil answer our feasting, We curse out the love foe money by these investors, bring back the jobs. AMEN

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    • Some people are so gullible!

      After Sata and his PF promises of 90 day constitution, money in the pocket some dull people still believe Kambwili and his LIES????

      When are they going to understand that PF is just a bunch of CONMEN! A promise from Lungu of Kambwili is not even worth a sh!t.

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  3. i trust and hope each and everyone commenting here understands mining and have been in the mining sector before if are where born and still staying outside minning areas then keep quiet coz u dont understand this business and watz involved copper is a non renewable resource everyday u are taking out the ore meaning the deeper u go the costly it will be and u av to take out the waste and the the baluba mine the ore body is thin meaning u take out more waste than copper and the liitle copper u find its going cheaply at the london stock hence how do u sustain yo business u need buy earth moving machinery and are damn expensive nt ama corolla ya mulusaka no and u pay for power from CEC and u buy diesel in million of litres not tu fuel twamuma spacio so first understand the core business then…

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  4. appears the miners have adopted the same borrowing pattern as the government — borrow, borrow, borrow – when the money dries up, complain and deflect responsibility. Hope the mines open soon and borrowing can continue at a high rate! The paying back part is never enjoyable.

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  5. @ray yes a lot of bloggers have no idea about mining and what is involved. Zambians we must change our mindset and accept that workers must perform and be innovative employees. The cost of production in this mine is very high and there is no ore to mine. Spending much less than you earn is the way to get rich. Most miners borrow to buy second hand vehicles from Japan at colossal interest rate, the job losses are unavoidable and good for mining companies.

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