A local Non Government Organization has reminded the government that the more they delay in addressing the Vedanta Resources and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) impasse, the more it is creating problems at the mine.
And the NGO has called on key stakeholders to continue engaging the government on the needy to give Vedanta Resources back KCM so that it helps in revamping the country’s economy.
Advocates for National Development and Democracy Executive Director Samuel Banda fears that if the status quo remains the same, this may lead to the death of KCM.
Speaking when he featured on Crown TV Programme Truth Be Told Monday night, Mr. Banda acknowledged that KCM is an important asset that should not go to waste.
“You and I Joe (the moderator) may agree that KCM is not operating effectively as it used to when Vedanta Resources was still in charge. Let me also remind you that Vedanta Resources are the legal owners of KCM and so we wonder why they are not been given back the mine,” he said.
“People are suffering on the Copperbelt. The government through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development did announce that the matters will be resolved outside court. That was a step in the right direction. Now we want to hear when Vedanta will take over so that they pump in the over US$1 billion they have promised to invest in recapitalizing KCM. They have made some progressive pronouncements and we think that they can be given a chance so that they create the much needed jobs and business opportunities on the Copperbelt and Nampundwe.”
He said the solution at the moment lies with the government saying the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development should be consistent with his pronouncements.
“We are calling upon government to expedite the process of engaging with Vedanta Resources and in the process, come up with solutions that will result in a win win situation that would benefit both parties. This is an opportunity also for government to restore employment opportunities for our brothers and sisters on the Copperbelt,” he added.
“And with these proposals that Vedanta Resources is proposing, it is an opportunity for government to engage with Vedanta resources so as to restore the glory of the Copperbelt.”