…. for failing to provide a clear road map leading to the revamping of the mining sector

Lusaka… Friday May 19, 2023 (SMART EAGLES)

A local Non Governmental Organization has expressed dissapointment that President Hakainde Hichilema yesterday failed to provide a clear road map leading to the revamping of the mining sector.

Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD) says it was expecting the Head of State to be bold and give the nation how his administration will rescue the people of Copperbelt from the perpetual sufferings they have been subjected to.

Organization Executive Director Samuel Banda says the President should not abandon the people of the Copperbelt by failing to amicably resolve issues at Konkola Copper Mines Plc and Mopani Copper Mines.

“We are profoundly disappointed that President Hakainde Hichilema could not give a categorical, clear road map on KCM/Vedanta Resources and Mopani issues. The President only stated that they are working hard towards KCM issue and resolving the issues at Mopani without giving a road map. Now, we are aware that government is in talks with Vedanta Resources but we are wondering how long will the negotiations take. It’s more than one year and we know that the talks are outside court,” he said.

“We believe that normal negotiations can’t take this long time. We expected the President to at least give a time frame as when government will resolve this issue. Remember that the government through the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon Paul Kabuswe indicated that they will resolve these issues in the first quarter of 2023.”

He said this is the more reason why the stakeholders are worried as to why the President couldn’t build on that assurance of resolving the issues in the first quarter of 2023.

“It is very sad that the people of the Copperbelt are suffering, they don’t have employment opportunities, they don’t have business opportunities because of Jon functionality of the two mines. Our appeal to the President is that resolve these issues as a matter of urgency. These delays to make decisions are making the people to loose confidence in you and your leadership,” he emphasized.

“The people are now concluding that the President is not committed to resolve these issues. Remember the assurances which he has been giving together with his Minister of Mines without action. Now we can conclude that these assurances have been rhetoric, which is very unfortunate.”

He since appealed to the Head of State to give a clear road map and time frame as to when these issues will be resolved.


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