In a dramatic turn of events, Mine unions have urged the New Dawn Government to bring back controversial Indian investors Vedanta Miner Resources to run the dormant Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) if it can’t find an alternative investor.
Heads of the Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ), United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) and National Union of Miner’s and Allied Workers (NUMAW) on Monday held a joint media briefing at Katilungu House in Kitwe to advocate the return of Vedanta to run KCM.
MUZ, UMUZ and NUMAW in May, 2019 spearheaded protests against Vedanta in Chingola after accusing the London Metal Exchange listed firm of failing to run KCM.
At a briefing, Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Joseph Chewe claimed the situation at KCM is desperate saying the talks between the government and Vedanta should be expedited.
Mr. Chewe said the government should ensure that it looks at the issues affecting workers and the issues of compliance on the mining license if Vedanta was to return to KCM.
Vedanta was accused of not complying with the mining license provisions when running KCM in Chingola, Chililabombwe, Kitwe and Nampundwe.
Mr. Chewe further suggested that the mine unions be part of the talks being done outside court between the government and Vedanta.
“On Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) remember we told government that they must expedite the process of resolving the wrangles that involves Vedanta and ZCCM that led to the liquidation because we are aware that the operations in KCM, starting from Chililabombwe, Nchanga, Nkana and Nampundwe. These operations are in desperate need of new life. You know that we have workers who update us on a daily basis on what is obtained on the ground and the situation has become so desperate. You will recall that Vedanta took the government to court and what came from the Lusaka High Court, the Johannesburg and the London High Court is in public domain. Vedanta has argued that it is the rightful owner of KCM and the government has taken a position that we cannot mine in court hence we cannot bury our heads in the sand as a country and particularly union leaders to see KCM deteriorate and that we need to resuscitate KCM. We welcomed that talks came out from the court and negotiations between the two parties commenced. We need KCM to be back on track so that this mine continues to give jobs to the current workers and future generations. The situation at KCM has become so desperate that talks between the government and Vedanta have taken a long,” Mr. Chewe said.
Mr. Chewe said the mine unions want to see that the interest of workers is properly safeguarded as the Government and Vedanta talks.
“Because of the turn of events and the desperate situation at KCM, there is no investor that might come in KCM minus Vedanta. If those talks between Government and Vedanta give conditions that the unions complained about, the community complained about, those issues that suppliers talked about, those issues that the country in general talked about for the of sake of KCM, let them (Government) expedite the talks with Vedanta so that we bring normalcy at KCM. Otherwise, the situation is desperate. We would also want to be part of the talks as the union. So that those conditions workers rose when Vedanta left, we can also have an input and resolve the issue. We know that under the current situation there is no investment that will come in KCM. So we have hit a ore as a country in terms of trying to push Vedanta out because of the legal issues that surround the ownership. So we would want to call up Vedanta also to meet the unions so that we air the issues we want to air to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) President Wisdom Ngwira said the happenings at KCM have detrimental effects on workers and the mining towns.
National Union of Miner’s and Allied Workers (NUMAW) President Saul Simujika said there is a need to revive Shaft Number 28 so that workers who lost employment are brought back.
Mr Simujika further said the 400 workers who were at the verge of losing employment at Baluba mine following its closure have been deployed to Muliashi and other areas.
The whole liquidation decision by the PF was totally ill conceived just like the botched Mopani nationalisation…. so many years down the road…what has Zambia achieved ???? poverty for the miners and their communities….
Once these two matters are resolved,there should be consequences for those that took our country down this dark path…..
Zambians were celebrating when a clueless drunk from Chawama liquified KCM and told them that we now own the mines .
Really laugable look at these Unions they are the same ones who stood behind the crook Liquidator Milungo Lungu celebrating when KCM who taken over today they want the same company back …these chaps have no principles and are very corrupt indeed.
“MUZ, UMUZ and NUMAW in May, 2019 spearheaded protests against Vedanta in Chingola after accusing the London Metal Exchange listed firm of failing to run KCM.”
We told you but you were busy enjoying those bribes from PF and Milungo …we told you Lazy Lungu just wanted to bleed the company so he can have cash in suitcases. We could have chased Vandenta with the law on our side but you instead listened to a two bit Chamwama bent lawyer Lazy Lungu. No investor can touch KCM with Vandenta still in the picture…
Mine employees, contractors and suppliers had issues with Vedanta for a long time.Miners for a long time protested against Vedanta very much such because things were not working out.
Government must be careful. If you are without depth you wont know that there were Zambians who cried for Welensky to come back after political violence became the order of the day in the 60s and 70s. Just check your history; Even the slaves in 1860s started wanting to go back to their masters’ farms because they had no jobs. These unionists are just being shallow. We need a well worked out solution. Going back to square one is not the solution.
@Cha Cha Cha, well said, even the Israelites wanted to go back to slavery in Egypt. That’s what desperation does when a people are beginning to lose hope, patience and foresight. Though, almost two years since UPND taking the reigns, this issue has taken too long to resolve. It reflects incompetence on the part of UPND cohorts.
I won’t say much but I will want to know how much Chewe and his friends have received from Vedanta via GRZ via Kabuswe. This is an abnormal turnaround.
There seems to be no improvement in mining operations, corrupt bureaucrats and short sighted politicians are letting mines bleed day and night. HH is surrounded by clueless advisors. Ms. Banda at ZCCM-IH, the THEN chairlady, speaks volume of corruption, double dealings, pep talks.No investment in the mines for over a decade now.
And where will the projected 3million come from.
Are you telling that all this time the government has not find a suitable investor to take over these minnes? then these trips the boss is taking what are they for? to this they is more than what meets the eye, same one is not telling the truth here. the UPND said it now the UNIONS
No Cash, No Hope, No Wonder
The current state of unionism in Zambia is SHAMEFUL Trade unionists lack intellectual prowess. Zambian trade union leaders fail to read how the Guptas corrupted Zuma and his associates in South – as revealed by findings of the Zondo Commission. The Brunthurst Foundation was set up by western powers to hypnotize African leaders. It has stupefied some leaders in East Africa and Southern Africa so as to exploit the economic bases of Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. Vedanta is related to the Guptas Group in generating corruption. It is high time trade unionist learnt some rudiments of how Europe underdeveloped Africa. Trust abilities of African expertise.
Labour leaders in Zambia ought to be ashamed of themselves. They are all FAT and compromised and, pretend to be representing workers when not. They have all been bought and should be overthrown!
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