Ndola’s Chifubu Member of Parliament Lloyd Lubusha says he will side with the people on the planned restructuring of Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola.
Energy Minister Peter Kapala this week officially informed Indeni workers during a meeting held at the plant that the firm will be restructured in order to make it more viable.
Mr. Kapala, who was accompanied by Finance Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, Information Minister Chushi Kasanda and Copperbelt Minister Elisha Matambo, confirmed that workers at Indeni who include 327 permanent ones will be declared redundant and asked to reapply when the petroleum firm is restructured.
Reacting to the proposed restructuring of Indeni, Mr. Lubosha said he will also support the Government’s plan to make Indeni viable.
The Chifubu Member of Parliament said the issue of Indeni affects people in all parts of Ndola Town.
“The issue of Indeni Petroleum Refinery has been a very big issue in Ndola. Ndola is divided into four constituencies namely Chifubu Constituency, Kabushi Constituency, Ndola Central Constituency and Bwana Mkubwa Constituency. The workers at Indeni are dotted in these constituencies so as members of Parliament we become major stakeholders to determine the future of Indeni,” Mr. Lubosha said.
He hailed the Government for officially stating its position on Indeni and for assuring workers that they will be paid a redundancy package swiftly.
“As members of Parliament first number one we stand with the people whilst we support the Government. We stand grateful as members of Parliament because the decision that the Ministers of Energy Finance and Information have laid on the table is an extraordinary decision. Past administrations when it came to commercializing, transitioning of public enterprises we never saw the decision that has been made by the New Dawn Government under the leadership of His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema, commander in chief of all commanders,” Mr. Lubusha said.
“The New Dawn administration has assured the workers that they will be paid. Not only being paid as it was in the previous administration where after being paid they were laid off again today the New Dawn administration because it is a caring Government it has said it will take on board all of you . This clearly indicates that it is an administration we need to trust because it is there to stand with the people. It is our humble appeal as Members of Parliament that we will support the Government programmes that will help to recover our economic and finance problems where they are today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bwana Mkubwa Independent Member of Parliament Warren Chisha Mwambazi said he was relieved to hear that the Government won’t sell Indeni.
“The issue of Indeni is a very thorn issue in our Constituency because if you look at the numbers that have been given, there is about 327 Indeni employees , there is Three Thousand who are contractors and suppliers to Indeni and our livelihoods in Ndola is based on this industry. So the most important point is that Indeni has not been sold because those were the speculations,” he said.
Mr. Mwambazi asked Indeni workers to be patient as the Government begins the restructuring process.
“I am very grateful that now we have the actual position of the Government of his Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema, who cares for the people. What is important as Indeni workers; let’s have patience and follow the procedure then we are going to achieve what we want. Our role is to ensure that our people are taken care of by the Government,” he said.
According to Mr. Kapala, under the newly proposed structure Indeni will stop petroleum refinery business and start operating like an oil marketing company.