NDC asks govt to take over KCM

By Staff Reporter

 

Opposition National Democratic Congress has asked government to take over operations at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) on the Copperbelt.

 

In a statement on Friday, NDC Secretary General Mwenya Musenge said the government should take over the mine through ZCCM-IH and later find a serious equity partner to run the firm.

 

He said it was now abundantly clear that KCM was facing serious financial doldrums, leading to its incapacitation.  

 

“Worse still, KCM is failing to settle its ballooning debt to the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) dues for the supply of power to the mine. We are told that CEC is owed over 40 million United States dollars by KCM. CEC has started restricting power to some sections of the mine,” Musenge.

 

“As a party, we are concerned on the slay attitude demonstrated by President Edgar Lungu to resolve the many challenges at KCM. Last week, Mr. Lungu had the privilege to visit the mine and meet both union officials and mine management. President Lungu should have taken serious interest in ensuring that he resolves outstanding matters at the plant before heading back to Lusaka.”

 

Musenge said KCM had serious problems including casualisation of workers and poor wages.

 

He accused the government of having a soft spot for KCM, even when it was abusing employees.

 

“We know that most senior Government officials do business with KCM. Could this be the compelling reason why Government is in a tight corner to intervene in all these now historical problems at KCM? Asked Musenge.

 

“Where is the money from KCM being channeled to? We need answers as a party. Why is KCM delaying the payment of monthly salaries for its senior managers?

The Copperbelt Province is a very sensitive region. Government should not gloss over the challenges at KCM. In this vain, the NDC, is challenging the Zambia Revenue Authority ZRA to make public its findings on the audit it has been undertaking on mining firms in the country. We particularly want the books of accounts for KCM to be made public. KCM has never been a serious investor. Let them pack and go.”