Opposition National Democratic Congress-NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has supported government’s decision not to allow Glencore to place Mopani Copper Mines-MCM on care and maintenance.
Mr. Kambwili said this when he made submissions to a committee of three cabinet ministers who are on a fact-finding mission of the mining sector.
He said Mopani Management has been applying wrong mining methods, which have resulted in high cost production.
The NDC leader said government and political leaders must put their foot down and not allow the mines in Kitwe and Mufulira to be placed under care and maintenance.
He said Zambians are not in any way benefiting from Mopani as the company has employed many expatriates and engaged foreign contractors and suppliers at the expense of locals.
Mr. Kambwili noted that the mining firm has a cartel of foreign contractors and suppliers whom they contract at exorbitant costs.
According to ZNBC, Mr Kambwili submitted that the country has a lot of local experts who can run and manage the firm profitably.
The NDC leader cited that Mopani mine was run and managed efficiently and at low cost when it had Mr. Emmanuel Mutati as its Chief Executive Officer.
He further charged that it is not possible for him to go to the Media and criticize government decisions if he is consulted, like the case has been on Mopani mine.
Earlier, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said the three ministers are on a mission to have a clear picture of what is on the ground.
Dr. Ng’andu said government wants reliable information about operations of mining firms.
He thanked Mr. Kambwili for availing himself before the ministers especially that he had to drive from Lusaka just to make his submissions.
And Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said the intention of government is to sustain mine operations at Mopani beyond the Ninety days notification that Mopani has given government.
Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe, Members of Parliament for Mufulira Central, Kamfinsa, Wusakile, Chimwemwe and Kitwe District Commissioner Chileshe Bweupe also joined the meeting in Kitwe this morning.