President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has implored Glencore owned Mopani Copper Mines Ltd, to accept government’s decision to remove subsidies on electricity that for a long time has kept the cost of energy in Zambia lower than any other country in the sub-region said Presidential Spokesman Amos Chanda.
Briefing the media in Lusaka today, Chanda said the phasing out of unrealistic subsidies that left a huge hole on government coffers in the energy sector, fuel and even agriculture sector must be respected by corporate bodies.
“Ordinary Zambians, mostly poor Zambians have already accepted the removal of subsidies. Mopani must accept the move too,” Chanda said, “The President has instructed the Mines Minister to engage Mopani immediately and resolve this matter.”
This comes on the heels of MPC also co-owned by First Quantum Minerals and ZCCM-IH threats to sack thousands of workers due to the removal of subsides that is going to push up the cost of power.
Low tariffs in the energy sector due to heavy government subsidies that have been in place for over 40 years has discouraged investment in the sector. Now the interest in Zambia’s energy sector has about doubled.
President Lungu becomes the first Zambian President to pull the plug off the consumption subsidies on both the energy and fuel sector since independence in a move hailed as progressive by bi-lateral and multilateral partners.
Chanda in a recorded statement said President Lungu has refused to be blackmailed by private business, as he tries to create jobs and expand the economy.