ZAMBIAN’S ECONOMY IS ON ITS KNEES

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ZAMBIAN’S ECONOMY IS ON ITS KNEES

….. hence Minister of Mines Hon. Paul CC Kabuswe should urgently conclude KCM-VEDANTA transition process.

Lusaka… Sunday December 17, 2023 (SMART EAGLES)

The Consortium of civil society organisations has charged that Zambia’s economy is on its knees hence the need to urgently conclude the remaining legal processes regarding the Vedanta Resources – Konkola Copper Mines deal.

Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD) Executive Director Samuel Banda says in the face of these economic turbulences, the mining sector plays a key role in restoring national economic development and stability.

He says the country is witnessing high unemployment levels, high cost of living, depreciation of the kwacha against major convertible currencies, high cost of doing business among other challenges.

“We the consortium of civil society organizations advocating for the revamping of the mining sector, wish to give a strong warning to the provisional liquidator of Konkola Copper Mines plc Celine Nair over the continued delay to initiate the Vedanta Resources – KCM legal transition process by submitting the scheme of arrangement. It is now over three months when government signed the KCM handover to Vedanta Resources and the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon Paul Kabuswe indicated that the KCM-VEDANTA transition process will take three months,” he said.

“Its now over 3 months yet the Konkola Copper Mines provisional liquidator Celine Nair has not even initiated the process, honestly this is a huge setback to the legal transition process. Zambians expected that by now the provisional liquidator should have been withdrawn from KCM to allow Vedanta Resources set up its board of directors that will be responsible to manage the mining firm and after setting up the board, start implementing their investment commitments such as the clearing off payments of the debt which is the US$250 Million to the suppliers and contractors.”

Mr Banda said stakeholders also expect the injection of over US$1 billion for mining recapitalization and development, the US$20 million for corporate social responsibility programmes which will be critical in enhancing development in the communities where Konkola Copper Mines has operations.

“The economy is down as we continue to face economic challenges, lack of employment, high cost of living, high cost of doing business, depreciation of Kwacha against major convertible currencies among others. We cannot continue moving on this trajectory and therefore,we are calling upon Ms Celine Nair to do the due diligence and submit the scheme of arrangement and other legal frameworks in the Zambian court so as to expedite the transition process, failure to do so, we shall exercise our constitutional democratic right and hold a massive protests against her,” he added.

“Ms Nair’s delay in submitting the scheme of arrangement is actually embarrassing President Hakainde Hichilema who wants the sector to be viable and meet his copper production target of achieving 3 million metric tonnes copper production per annum by 2031. We wish to indicate that President Hakainde Hichilema ambitious target of achieving 3 million metric tonnes copper production per annum is highly dependent on the successful operations of Konkola Copper Mine, hence it is profoundly imperative that the provisional liquidator be withdrawn from Konkola Copper Mines promptly so that Vedanta Resources can quickly revamp the mining firm and start contributing positively to our social economic growth and development.”

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