A consortium of three unions in the mining sector has proposed a forensic investigation of the business at Konkola Copper Mines to determine the true status of the business.
The Mine Workers Union of Zambia, the United Mine Workers Union of Zambia and the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers want this to be done by the KCM’s experts and patriotic Zambians.
The unions have asked the government to increase shareholding in KCM. They have further advised that expatriate labour must be restricted because that expatriate can only be considered in areas where they are lacking skills.
And the unions have called on the government to ensure that investors observe strict adherence to the conditions set out.
They have also urged the government to expedite the process of investor engagement to serve KCM from total collapse which will be economically catastrophic to both the hosting communities and the country.
They have further recommended the recapitalization of the operations which include exploration, equipment replacement and operationalization of the Konkola Deeps Mining Project as well as improving conditions of services for the employers.
They are demanding that the would-be investor upon taking over must engage the unions for improved conditions of service.
Meanwhile Opposition New Heritage Party Leader, Chishala Kateka has said that as Government is trying to resolve the Konkola Copper Mines-KCM issue, it must bear in mind the fact that the mining firm is a critical national asset hence the need to put the interest of Zambians first and not rush into deals that keep disadvantaging them.
Ms Kateka said that if the government needs an equity partner; it must look for one that will be prepared to enter into an agreement that will ensure a win-win situation for them and the country.
She said that there is no need for the country to continue to bend over backwards, ending up disadvantaging itself in the process.
Ms Kateka said that the resolution of the KCM Saga seemed to be imminent with the President announcing that it is not possible to resolve the KCM impasse minus Vedanta as they are part of the shareholders.
Ms Kateka is of the view that the asset of KCM is so important that consideration of the appointment of a Joint Provisional Liquidator should be made.
On May, 5th 2022 Vedanta resources reached out government through a letter to the Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe also copied to the unions indicating the desire to return to Konkola Copper Mines where he outlined several conditions which will improve the business, considering the acrimonious relationship it has with the workforce and other stakeholders.