Former Luanshya Member of Parliament Steve Chungu has criticized Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe for entertaining the pro- Vedanta Mineral Resource match-past staged by some Chililabombwe youths last weekend.
Indian investor Vedanta Mineral Resource has reportedly expressed interest to return to KCM.
Chililabombwe youths on Saturday morning staged a match-past demanding the return of Vedanta Resources to take over Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) on the Copperbelt.
Mr. Kabuswe was in Chililabombwe on the day and received a petition from youth’s representative Chishala Mwamba which advocated Vedanta’s return to KCM.
Mr Kabuswe, who is also Chililabombwe Member of Parliament, told the youths that the Government is committed to make sure that KCM and Mopani Copper Mines come back to life, and create more jobs.
But Mr. Chungu said the Mines Minister should not have associated himself with the controversial pro-Vedanta match-past in Chililabombwe.
He said the incident has the potential to tarnish Mr. Kabuswe’s image because the match-past was clearly stage managed.
Mr. Chungu said it was clear for anyone to see that the Chililabombwe match-past was funded by people with interests in KCM.
“It is because Vedanta sponsored the recent Mining Indaba in South Africa that is why we Zambians want it to come back? Why should we Zambians be cheated by these investors? It is shocking that we Zambians can even stage manage match-pasts to earn vague support from people. Those were just youths paid from compounds to join the fake solidarity. It was not correct to do that and the match-past was not a genuine thing. Please Zambians wake up and start seeing through these things,” Mr. Chungu said.
“He (Mr. Kabuswe) knew what was happening. If he is the Mines Minister for sure and cares about the Zambian people he should have first said no to that because the people that were doing that have got nothing to do with mining. These people came from compounds all over Chililabombwe and were being brought in bus loads. Where have you ever seen people that are coming to offer solidarity over something they come in bused? Who was paying for that? We can no longer be cheated. These minerals we have in this country more than 100 years ago our relatives died because of Cecil Rhodes. He was mining and killing our people and again we are allowing the same imperialists to come back into this country and mine more of our minerals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chungu has strongly opposed the proposed return of Vedanta to KCM saying the Indian investor should not take Zambians for granted.
He said the mining conglomerate failed the people of Zambia when failing to run KCM properly prior to the liquidation enforced by the previous Patriotic Front regime.
Mr. Chungu said the decision to liquidate KCM by PF was timely and right owing to Vedanta’s inertia to continuously invest in the mine that has operations in Chingola, Chililabombwe and Nampundwe.
“What is there for Vedanta to show that they will come back a better investor? They want to come back and mine our minerals and leave us with nothing. It is wrong thinking that because Vedanta were the owners of the mine so they should come back. We have had other mining firms that have gone. Anglo Americans left this country, they left Konkola Copper Mines but they want to come back with a different name. Who shouldn’t think that they are even part of the Vedanta scheme to return,” Mr. Chungu said.
In a letter addressed to Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe, the Group CEO, Sunil Duggal further said upon return Vedanta shall implement a salary increase across the board.
In November, 2020, a Zambian court ordered a halt to liquidation proceedings for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to allow owners Vedanta and ZCCM-IH to proceed to arbitration, the provisional liquidator said in a statement.
Hon Chungu, it’s all a plan. Use the people to woo support for the return of the Vedanta group. Then announce that as a listening Government we have decided to follow the will of the people. Who knows, Vedanta may have already been assured of their return. Let’s wait and see.
People have the right to express their views. Gone are the days when cardred would beat people for doing that
Thank God not all Zambians are naive. Vedanta should cultivate a sense of shame over the looting and then later on the bragging which is well documented, but no. These Indians are so brazen. They strongly believe Zambians are dunderheads. These are criminals who should be locked up the moment they set foot in Zambia. Our minerals can remain underground for future generations who may be in a better position to negotiate.
You are comfortable with the huge tax free gratuity you received and other benefits from your PF misrule. These youths from the compounds are the same youths from families whose fathers are not able to feed them because you busy shutting down these mines which employed them.
I’m surprised that Chungu has missed the point. That protest was organized by Kabuswe and he ensured that he was in Chililabombwe to receive it and that was obviously with his boss’s blessings. We can’t isolate Kabuswe on this one, he didn’t act alone
Imwe naimwe ba Chungu………..
Who would belive that useless protest March ???
Vendetta and their chola boys ended up looking silly……….
Take a screenshot of this comment, look at it at the end of the year (you can call me a profit/prophet then) Vedanta will be back at the mine.
They have been assured of this already and now actions are being taken to make it seem like the general populace wants this company back.
First you have the president attending an Indaba funded by Vedanta, FQM and other mining giants. At the indaba, he announces the stoppage of a court action against Vedanta (think of that what you will).
And now we have this sham of a protest with hungry youths, minister says we hear you and next day he presents a mining report to the President.
Vedanta is coming back. Cry my country.
Extremely useless minister….Tell your boss we the people of Zambia want a 51% shares in all the mines like it was in Kaundas time. Ba politician behave yourselves… Upnd is a one term party
This Paul Kabuswe is the most amateuristic and useless mines minister the country has ever had – he knows absolutely NOTHING about any mining. Remember the total fool he made of himself with the Black Mountain? STILL NOT RESOLVED! The guy must be sacked NOW!
The term is “MARCH-PAST” not “Match=Past” as reported In this article.
As the old adage says; “A leopard can not change it’s skin spots”. It is unfortunate that some people would still allow themselves to be used as tools of mischief. The youths are the most venerable because of their current unemployment dilemma. And this situation places them as a desperate people there being an easy prey. We pray that they open their eyes as well as ears for their tomorrow’s betterment. Vendata does not mean well for KCM, they’re merciless crooks without a human heart and should never allowed a moment in our motherland Zambia. They left a debt of over $200m owed to Zambian Contractors some of whom have suffered loss of their Properties by the Banks from whom they borrowed money to service KCM Orders. This besides Multinational companies like CAT BARROWS, ATLAS COPCO…
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