MINE WORKERS UNIONS WELCOME INTENTIONS BY GOVERNMENT AND VEDANTA TO SETTLE KCM DISPUTE OUT OF COURT
By Chileshe Mwango/ Tinkerbel Mwila
Three Mine Workers Unions namely the Mine Workers Union of Zambia, the National Union Of Miners and Allied Workers and the United Mine Workers Union of Zambia have expressed happiness with indications that both government and Vedanta desire to settle the dispute concerning the ownership of the mine out of court.
They have described the move as progressive as the continued court action is putting KCM at a greater risk of further depreciation and complete shutdown of the mine.
The three unions have since advised government to ensure strict conditions are put in place as a deterrent to what happened in the past in an event that they settle for Vedanta or any other investor.
In a joint press statement, the three unions have since proposed that going forward, the mine should undergo a whole recapitalization process, improvement of conditions of services for employees and ensure a well-defined Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the hosting communities among others.
They have also urged government to expedite the process of investor engagement to serve KCM from total collapse which will be economically catastrophic to both the hosting communities and the country.
Last week, Vedanta Resources indicated its desire to return to Konkola Copper Mine PLC while government has also disclosed that solutions to the problems at KCM may include the involvement of Vedanta.
In a related development, Konkola Copper Mines and its subsidiary companies, the Konkola Mineral Resources Limited (KMRL) and KCM Smelter Company Limited has warned its business partners and members of the public of unscrupulous people soliciting for applications to register new vendors and upgrade the company vendor data base.
KCM General Manager Corporate Affairs Shapi Shachinda tells Phoenix News in a statement that the mining company and its subsidiaries have at no time embarked on compiling a new vendor data base.
Mr. Shachinda says the claimed registration or fresh applications is a hoax by people seeking to bring the name of KCM into disrepute by conning unsuspecting KCM vendors or potential business partners.
He adds that KCM will continue to engage and communicate with its current and future business partners through the official and ordinary course of business.