Former Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) Ackim Mweemba has called on the New Dawn government to immediately bring back Indian investor Vedanta Mineral Resources to run dormant Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
The Government through ZCCM IH is currently settling the disputed ownership of KCM with the legal owner Vedanta after the two parties opted for an out of court settlement.
Last month in a dramatic turn of events, mine unions urged the Government to bring back controversial Indian investors Vedanta to run KCM if it can’t find an alternative investor.
In a media statement, Mr. Mweemba said the Government should heed to the calls by mine unions and give back KCM to Vedanta.
He observed that even though Government’s grievances against Vedanta were genuine prolonging of the issue that has so far taken many years is detrimental.
Mr. Mweemba said the pleasant resolution of the Vedanta versus Government stalemate will raise Zambia’s investment profile as a safe destination for business.
“The new dawn government should as a matter of urgency heed to the call by the three mining unions to seriously consider bringing Vedanta back. Whilst appreciating the fact that the grievances raised by the Zambian government against Vendetta are genuine, but the further prolonging of the already four years so far taken in court handling preliminary issues is very detrimental, as KCM being part of the mining sector in the country has a significant contribution to the gross domestic product. Well, time has come for government to disregard calls from the doomsayers who are merely politicking on the matter, there is need to do that which is blameless for mother Zambia by bringing in economic activities on the Copperbelt,” Mr. Mweemba said.
He said when giving back KCM to Vedanta the government should impose more controls ensuring that vendetta brings in the 1.3billion dollars investment pledge made.
Mr. Mweemba said further more the three mining unions should be engaged forthwith to negotiate for improved conditions of service of the mine workers.
“However, having had a relationship with this investor before now, the government should impose more controls ensuring that vendetta brings in the 1.3 billion dollars investment pledge made, that the three mining unions be engaged forthwith to negotiate for improved conditions of service of the workers. contractors and suppliers are paid their payments immediately, government should among other things consider facilitating an engagement of financial institutions and contractors/suppliers for the non-performing loans for these four years of impasse,” he said.
Mr. Mweemba continued:”We further urge the new dawn government to come up with the carrot and the stick to preclude bad behavior in the mining sector i.e. the stick – that is, deterring misbehavior through fear of legal punishment. It’s important to make the stick thicker, harder, and more accurate. Our laws and regulations are adequate to deal with all issues surrounding mining activities. Nonetheless, the most convenient way to change behavior is to offer the carrot, which is incentive.”
“In fact, a well-designed incentive system can be far more powerful motivator than regulations and Zambia’s 2023 mining tax regime meets this benchmark. In a nutshell, this idea has been the triumph of Capitalism over Socialism. Finally, harmonious resolution of this stalemate with vendetta will raise Zambia’s investment profile as a safe destination which is good for tackling poverty levels amongst our people,” he concluded.
Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe last week revealed conditions the New Dawn Government has given Vedanta as it seeks to reclaim Konkola Copper Mines.
Speaking during President Hakainde Hichilema’s visit to the Copperbelt, Mr. Kabuswe said Government has told Vedanta to pay all suppliers and contractors, to invest in mining development and to run the mine efficiently as some of the conditions.
Mr. Kabuswe said the UPND Government told Vedanta that it was not joking on KCM issues like the PF government used to dMeanwhile, opposition Golden Party of Zambia (GPZ) President Jackson Silavwe is one of the stakeholders that opposed the imminent return of Vedanta.
Mr. Silavwe said only corrupt, inept, puppets of foreign business interests and self serving individuals and Government can talk about returning Vedanta back to KCM.
“We would like to differ with the Minister of Mines Honourable Paul Kabuswe and the 3 three mining unions, MUZ, NUMAW and UMUZ on returning Vedanta back to KCM. Vedanta’s return will be a serious indictment on our collective National thinking or the lack of it.KCM under Vedanta only benefited the owner Mr. Agarwal and his business associates. No wonder he boasted on video that KCM had been giving him $500 million every year in profit, plus an extra $1 billion since 2003 and yet KCM was declaring losses to the Zambian government,” Mr. Silavwe said.
Vedanta Resources PLC is the majority shareholder of KCM. Nothing can change that. Because we’re stuck with Vedanta Resources, it doesn’t mean we should also be stuck with its harmful ways of doing business. We can and should negotiate a new deal which should include having a Zambian finance director and other technical positions. It’s the timidity of those who represent us that’s letting Zambians down.
Zambia has a surplus of accountants. Why should any foreign investor bring in their own financial staff?
Vedanta are a big failure. Wave them goodbye. Forever!
Reality and PF thinking is two different things bwana. Come back to reality
Do you need help to come back to reality?
who pays the piper calls the tune
Vedanta again? It’s time to reflect.
Why do you want to give away our minerals? What’s wrong with us? Why can we not protect our minerals for the future. Soon we will have nothing there and we won’t be able to do anything unless we go back to china and Europe to buy our won minerals at a price of Gold Orr Diamond. Why can’t we stock pile like GB has done with our gold?
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