The Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) says the recent split of Konkola Copper Mines into two entities will boost production and increase efficiency in the company.
MUZ president Joseph Chewe in an interview yesterday, said the development will further stimulate creation of more jobs in the sector thereby boost government’s revenue through various taxes.
“The split will result in more production, job opportunities and more business linkages and the community will benefit more,” Mr. Chewe said.
And Mr. Chewe clarified that no worker will be laid-off in the process adding that all workers will be paid their benefits adding that the benefits will paid in three instalments due to the poor performance of the mine.
He said the priority now is to redeem the company from collapsing hence the decision to pay the miners in three instalments so that they do not lose out completely.
“ As you may know the mine has been in the intensive care unit, Vedanda left the company with a huge debt of about 2.3 billion US Dollars, so the company has no money, what is needed now is to remove this company from ICU and bring it to life and if we wait for the liquidation process to be concluded in court, the loser will be the worker,” Mr Chewe said.
Citing the plight of former workers of RAMCOZ in Luanshya who are still unpaid since the mine was liquidated over ten years ago , the MUZ president further noted that this was the only liquidation process in Zambia where workers will be paid.
Mr. Chewe urged the workers to accept the payment of their benefits in three instalments as the company still has to be saved from total collapse.
But Lusaka based Economist Maambo Hamaundu said the splitting of the mine should have waited for the conclusion of the court case between Vedanta Resources and ZCCM-IH to avoid possible litigation that may arise as a result of the action taken while the case is still active in court.
“It would have been better to wait for the conclusion of the court case so that we do not have a repeat of what we had on Lap-Green ( now Zamtel) where we had to pay heavily as a country when the sale of the company was overturned,” Mr. Hamaundu noted in an interview.
The Konkola Copper Mine Liquidator Milingo Lungu has split the mine into two entities that will operate separately from each other.