The ex-miners in Zambia have called for an up-close engagement with President Hakainde Hichilema for them to present their challenges.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Kitwe, National Ex-Miners and Allied Workers Association president, Lucky Zulu, said the meeting which the ex-miners have last week with the Head of State was not conducive for them to present some of their challenges.
“We need to have a one-on-one engagement so that issues could be articulated in details now because we did not have enough time, we could not articulate issues as we would have loved to but it was a good gesture because they thought of us but then we did not have enough time,” Mr. Zulu explained.
He said the association will engage the Copperbelt Province Minister to arrange a meeting with the President.
Mr Zulu said the ex-miners have many challenges which need to be shared with the President in a closed door meeting.
He has since urged his members to remain calm as the association leaders continue to seek for an appropriate audience with Mr Hichilema in a bid to have their challenges attended to.
He said last week’s meeting was an assurance of a possible breakthrough as this was the first time they were presenting their challenges to a Head of State.
Last week, President Hichilema met ex-miners during a stakeholders’ meeting in Mufulira where they requested for various empowerment initiatives.
Some of the requests presented by the ex-miners include providing more land for ex-miners in districts in the Copperbelt Province, linking farm blocks owned by ex-miners to financial support such as loans and market linkages, and the inclusion of a Constituency Development Funds (CDF) component to support ex-miners among others.
Ex-miners feel the issues they presented may not be attended to because of the nature of the meeting which was an open public meeting.
They don’t trust the Minister and neither do they Union leaders. So the only person that can genuinely address their grievances is the President. Please grant these people an audience and don’t send any of assistants. Please hear them out. Miners and ex-miners have been betrayed by their own leaders. Don’t ignore their cry
Even himself cannot be trusted.
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