The Mines Minister, Paul Kabuswe, has announced that the government has found a solution to the challenges at Konkola Copper Mine-KCM. Kabuswe made this announcement during a public meeting at Twafwane School ground in Chililabombwe District, where he was accompanied by President Hakainde Hichilema on a working visit.
According to Kabuswe, the government is currently consulting with mine unions on the decision it has made regarding KCM before it can engage other stakeholders. He assured the public that the nation would be informed about the decision on the mine once consultations with unions are concluded. Kabuswe also urged the public to be patient as the current challenges at KCM would soon be over.
This announcement comes after residents of the Copperbelt demanded that the government makes a quick decision on the challenges facing Konkola Copper Mines Plc and Mopani Copper Mines. The residents, who came from different districts of the Copperbelt, expressed their concerns about the adverse poverty resulting from the challenges at the two mines. They also highlighted the rise in prostitution and divorce, which they attributed to a lack of income.
The clergy in the area also lamented the situation, with Pastor Simon Kiboko of Kitwe stating that the government should give KCM back to Vedanta Resources to boost the economy of the Copperbelt. Similarly, Pastor Charles Chileshe, also from Kitwe, noted that the challenges at the two mines had resulted in adverse poverty for the local people.
Sydney Banda, a youth from Mufulira, also expressed his concerns, stating that his peers were engaging in illicit activities because they had nothing to do despite being graduates. Banda appealed to the government to quickly resolve the problems at the two mining firms.
The government’s announcement will be welcome news to the residents of the Copperbelt, who have been eagerly waiting for a solution to the challenges facing KCM. The government’s decision, once announced, is expected to provide a boost to the Copperbelt’s economy and improve the living conditions of the local people.