WE ARE HEADED FOR WORSE SITUATIONS….. if the govt continues to delay the finalization process of the Vedanta – KCM deal, says ZUPED President

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ZUPED President Ronnie Jere

WE ARE HEADED FOR WORSE SITUATIONS

….. if the govt continues to delay the finalization process of the Vedanta – KCM deal, says ZUPED President

Lusaka… Tuesday January 16, 2024 (SMART EAGLES)

The Zambians for Unity Peace and Development (ZUPED) fears that the country’s economy is headed for a worse scenario if the government continues to delay the finalization of the Vedanta Resources – Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) deal which will see the investor take over the operations of the mining firm.

ZUPED President Ronnie Jere says in as much as government has made some progress on this matter, there are issues that are causing the people to speculate over this deal.

Mr Jere says this is the more reason why some stakeholders are claiming that some individuals maybe benefiting from the status quo hence the delay.

He appeals to President Hakainde Hichilema to ensure that he prioritizes this matter saying once resolved, it will go a long way in helping boost the economy.

“Zambia’s economy still remains in intensive care unit and it’s imperative upon government to heed to the calls of Civil Society Organizations, trade unions, mine unions, the Church and other concerned stakeholders to quickly revamp the mining sector. Otherwise, we are headed for a worse situation than what we are seeing now. In as much as we have seen the Minister (Hon Paul Kabuswe) come out strongly to say everything is going on well, and we are happy that government is doing whatever it can do, a lot of effort is needed from those in authority. But we know how government works. Sometimes there are bureaucracies some of which are meant to benefit individuals; bureaucracies that are deliberately put in place by individuals that are benefiting from the current status quo of the mines in Zambia,” he said.

“We would like to urge President Hichilema to quickly look at what is happening at KCM, Kasenseli gold mine, but we are happy with what is happening at Mopani Copper Mine. We are still very worried because we still think that a few individuals are benefiting from the delay of making sure that these issues surround KCM and Kasenseli gold mine are resolved as soon as possible. We still don’t understand why Kasenseli gold mine has been closed for this long.”

Mr Jere felt that there is externalization of resources at Kasenseli gold mine and Zambians are not benefiting.

He asked government to look at modalities of opening KCM and Kasenseli gold mine so that the nation can resolve some of the issues such as depreciation of the Kwacha as well as funding important sectors of the country.

The ZUPED President indicated that mining accounts for over 80 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.

He said this is the more reason why the government should not neglect this important sector saying currently, the sector is running at 20 percent which he said is not sustainable.

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