Zambians for Unity Peace and Development (ZUPED) have criticized President Hakainde Hichilema for missing an opportunity to update the people of the Copperbelt on the progress made to resolve the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Mines saga.
In response to the President’s address this morning, ZUPED President Ronny Jere expressed disappointment, stating that the government’s lack of seriousness was evident as it continued to drag its feet on the matter.
Jere further accused President Hichilema of intentionally obstructing the process by not taking immediate action when there were no legal obstacles preventing a resolution.
“The legal issues that the President is referring to are not as serious as he portrays them. The only remaining issue regarding KCM is the question of who should bear the costs that have accumulated since 2019. We know that KCM was under liquidation and ZCCM-IH was overseeing its operations. This issue could have been resolved as early as last month. However, the President, as usual, has been dragging his feet. We are also concerned about the involvement of Greg Mills and his colleagues in the negotiation team. We are unsure about the pressure they might be exerting on Vedanta, the investor,” Jere stated.
Jere also highlighted the disappointment stemming from Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe’s assurance that the mining standoff would be resolved by March last month. He pointed out that the Head of State only briefly mentioned the matter, speaking about it for a mere three seconds.
Jere emphasized the urgent need for the government to ensure the mines are fully operational to drive economic growth in the Copperbelt and generate employment opportunities.
The KCM and Mopani Mines saga has been a contentious issue in Zambia, with ongoing disputes between the government, mining companies, and various stakeholders. Resolving the situation is crucial to stabilize the mining industry and ensure its contribution to the country’s economy.
The people of the Copperbelt eagerly await further updates and actions from the government to bring about a resolution that benefits all parties involved and promotes sustainable development in the region.