CSOS APPLAUD GOVT
….for finally submitting the scheme of agreement in court to expedite KCM- Vedanta deal
Lusaka… Friday January 5, 2024 (SMART EAGLES)
The Consortium of Civil Society Organizations has applauded the government for finally submitting the creditors scheme of arrangement before the court in order to expedite the Vedanta – Konkola Copper Mine transition process.
Consortium Lead Samuel Banda has however urged the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon Paul Kabuswe to be updating the nation on the transition process on time.
Mr Banda, who is also Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD) Executive Director, says the scheme of arrangement is a key fundamental aspect to the transition process and it will facilitate for the withdraw of the provisional liquidator at KCM to allow Vedanta take full control of KCM and begin to implement their investment commitments.
“We would like to commend Government for submitting the creditors scheme of arrangement to the Zambian court to expidite the KCM Vedanta transition process. The scheme of arrangement is a key fundamental aspect to the transition process and it will facilitate for the withdraw of the provisional liquidator at KCM to allow Vedanta take full control of KCM and begin to implement their investment commitments among them,” he said.
“The investor has also committed to inject in over US$ 1 billion for recapitalization and mining development; clearing off payment US$250 million to suppliers and contractors that KCM owes; implementation of coporate social responsibility programmes to enhance community development with a budget of 20Million USD.”
Mr Banda also said the investor has further committed to increase salaries for workers at KCM by 20 percent.
“We believe the KCM employees protested because they have the confidence in the investor Vedanta Resources and its investment commitments and all they knew that Vedanta Resources by January would have taken over full operations of KCM according the ministers promise on 5th September upon Government signing a shareholders and implementation agreement. Hence we feel it is wrong for the minister to condemn the employees for Protesting, the employees have a right to protest. Actually the Minister of mines should apologize to the employees for not honouring his promise of finalizing the transition process within a time frame of 3 months,” he stated.
“Therefore, we urge the minister of mines to be updating the nation on time regarding the transition process to avoid stakeholders tension and anxiety, because its absolutely clear that all the stakeholders contractors, suppliers, employees and Zambians in general are looking forward to see Vedanta Resources a mining giant take control of KCM and resuscitate the mining firm.”
And Zambians for Unity Peace and Development (ZUPED) President Ronnie Jere said his organization is satisfied with the response from Hon Kabuswe that Vedanta has not fully taken over the operations of KCM for them to fully implement the K2500 once off payment to KCM workers as per promise.
“The Minister of Mines has responded to the main queries that the mine unions, CSOs and other stakeholders have been asking such as the K2500 once payment to KCM workers that Vedanta had promised. We want to commend the Minister for being proactive, I think he is one of the ministers that doesn’t let issues go to sleep. Some ministers would not have responded like the way Hon Kabuswe has done and that’s why we are commending him for being proactive,” he said.
“CSOs petitioned the Minister of Mines to explain why the transition process has slowed down and also as to when they will handover KCM to Vedanta and the Minister has said soon because there are court processes that are going on. And we are satisfied with that response and he has explained to the workers to the workers because Vedanta has not fully taken over because the scheme of arrangement was just signed and it is in court and so it’s about the court processes and it’s no longer in the ministry of Mines. And we are also satisfied with that response because we have a Minister who looks at the interests of the people.”