Mines and Minerals Development Minister Richard Musukwa has threatened that Konkola Copper Mines-KCM has been given enough warnings regarding its operations and should NOT force Government to ACT decisively.
Mr Musukwa says Government will NOT allow KCM to continue decampaigning the ruling party through increased unemployment levels in areas where the firm is operating from.
He said Government does NOT want the mining giant to turn Chingola and Chililabombwe into ghost towns due to its activities.
Mr. Musukwa was speaking when he addressed scores of PF members at the constituency office, after receiving Ms. Ng’andu and other UPND defectors.
Mr. Musukwa said the mining firm should guarantee locals jobs and should STOP the habit of late payments of salaries to its staff and delayed clearance of its debt to local contractors and suppliers.
This is the second time withing a month that the Minister is issuing a warning to KCM. Earlier in the month, the Ministersaid that government was saddened by the failure of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to demonstrate a clear roadmap in terms of sustainability.
Mr Musukwa had directed KCM to immediately avail government with all the statistics of who they owe, how much has been paid and the records of the outstanding balance.
The Minister further directed the copper mining company to immediately settle all outstanding August salaries to its employees warning that no payment to the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) or any other entity should ever be used as an excuse for failing to meet their periodic obligations towards both contractors and employees.
Mr Musukwa warned that if mining houses such as KCM refuses to adhere to very friendly directives, then government will have no option but to practically intervene.
“We have a duty and a responsibility towards our people to ensure that the contractors and suppliers are paid and that employees of KCM are equally paid at the correct time. You must remember that suppliers, contractors and KCM employees are NOT shareholders in that company. So KCM has a mandate to mobilise resources and ensure that they liquidate their indebtedness.
“And when they pay CEC or any other company for that matter, it does not mean they now have a leeway to default on employee’s salaries, or default on payments for contractors and suppliers – not at all, by tolerating such, we are just creating an imbalance in the system and it is clear that KCM needs to demonstrate seriousness,” stated Mr Musukwa.