Yesterday, Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe met two Civil Society Organizations that petitioned the government over the Konkola Copper Mines – KCM and Vedanta standoff.
Zambians for Unity, Peace and Democracy and Advocates for National Development and Democracy had petitioned the Mines minister to give the government position regarding the legal standoff between KCM and Vedanta.
Mr Kabuswe met the two CSO leaders and assured them that the government is seriously looking into the impasse between KCM and Vedanta.
And Advocates for National Development and Democracy Executive Director Samuel Banda said that the assurance by the minister is a step in the right direction.
Mr Banda said Vedanta resources are the legal owners of KCM and that the government should handover back the mine to them so that they create business opportunities and employment.
“We had a successful meeting with the Mines Minister regarding the petition submitted to his office concerning the legal battles between KCM and Vedanta, and he assured us that the government is seriously and critically addressing the KCM, Vedanta legal impasse as he indicated that soon the government will gives its position on this matter,’ he said
Meanwhile, the Zambians for Unity, Peace and Development President Ronnie Jere said that following this assurance, the government should expedite the process of resolving the differences between KCM and Vedanta so that the continued suffering of people on the Copperbelt are averted.
Mr Jere is hopeful that the government’s position over the standoff will be known within this first quarter of the year.
“If the government delays in giving its position, we will go back and petition the Minister to ensure that they put the interests of the people of Zambia first,” he said
Last week, Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe agreed to meet two civil society organizations that petitioned the Government over the Konkola Copper Mines – KCM, Vendata standoff.
Zambia for Peace,Unity and Development ZUPED President Ronnie Jere and Advocates for National Development and Democracy Executive Director Samuel Banda a fortnight ago petitioned the Mines Minister to state Government’s position regarding the legal battles between KCM and Vedanta.
In an interview, ZUPED President Ronnie Jere said that the decision by the Mines Minister to agree to meet the two organizations next week Tuesday is a step in the right direction and ill allow the Minister to state the government’s position on when the negotiations between KCM and Vedanta will conclude.
Mr Jere said that the negotiations cannot go on for a longtime when people on the Copperbelt are suffering.
He added that Vendata should be allowed to run KCM in order to avert the suffering of people on the Copperbelt and also avoid job losses at the mine.
And Advocates For National Development And Democracy Executive Director Samuel Banda indicated that the impasse between KCM and Vedanta needs urgent attention as the economic condition on the Copperbelt is deteriorating.
He insisted that Vedanta has the financial muscle to turnaround fortunes at KCM.
Early this month, the government was petitioned over vedanta and KVM impasse by
Two Non-Government Organizations who came together to petition the government over the delay to resolve the Vedanta and Konkola Copper Mines – KCM standoff.
Zambia for Peace, Unity and Development – ZUPED President Ronnie Jere said that the petition to the Ministry of Mines is meant to prompt the Minister to state government positions on when the negotiations between KCM and Vedanta will conclude.
And speaking during the presentation of the petition, Mr Jere said that negotiations cannot go on in perpetuity when people on the Copperbelt are suffering.
He stated that although the government is commended for having engaged Vedanta into an outside court dialogue, his organization fears the uncertainties surrounding these negotiations which includes the time that these negotiations have taken.
And Advocates for National Development and Democracy Executive Director Samuel Banda has indicated the deteriorating economic situation on the Copperbelt as a result of the continued delays by the government to address the KCM and Vedanta resources.
Mr Banda hence, demanded that the government state its position on when or if Vedanta resources will take over KCM operations to protect jobs and create business opportunities for Copperbelt residents because the issue has prolonged for too long leading to a lot of uncertainties on the future of the mining firm.