THE BLACK MOUNTAIN SHOULD HAVE EMPOWERD THE EX MINERS AND WOMEN ALONG SIDE WITH THE YOUTHS
By Percy Chanda
UPND as the Government in waiting has been under pressure to comment on the issue of the black mountain in Kitwe. I on behalf of my Party have been under intense pressure to give a comment but decided to apply a golden rule that if you see your enemy making a mistake do not disturb. However the pressure has been too much, hence reluctantly we now offer our view point.
In the first place the Black mountain is a National asset and as such this asset should benefit all Zambians. In principle we have the Youth, Men and Women. The PF chose to empower only a section of our youth because they are used as tools of violence against HH, GBM and the UPND. The ex miners and our women as matured people are against political violence and as such does not qualify as beneficiaries under PF to this national asset called the black mountain.
Most of the ex-miners are languishing in poverty, there is also the issue of the recently retrenched Miners who this PF Government has dumped and also cheated of farm plots and most of these are young people with families to look after. Even if the farming plots were found in Lufwanyama one is at a loss on how these ex miners can manage these farms owing to the fact that it’s a very big challenge to manage fuel at the current PF pump price.
Ex miners are only remembered when the PF wants votes from them. When there is something good to share the ex miners are not important to PF.As UPND we stand with all the ex miners most of them who are depressed due to the harsh economic policies of the PF. As a matter of fact this black mountain is there because of the hard work, sweat and sacrifice made by these ex Miners. They risked their lives to create that black mountain. But today when their sweat is being turned into milk and honey they have been ignored.
Our women too contributed to this black mountain as wives to these ex miners, most of them who are now widows and very vulnerable. The PF has been preaching to the World about empowering women and yet when it comes to real empowerment, our women do not exist in the minds of this cruel PF regime. Our poor women are only relegated to stone crushers along Chibuluma road. Our gallant women are only important when PF is looking for votes from them.
Of the 10% offloaded HH and his UPND fixing team should have given 4% to our youths, 3% to ex miners and the other 3% to our women. In fact as UPND we should have settled for a 15% so that our Youths, ex miners and our women all get 5 % each. Giving the whole 10% to our youths is being too unrealistic to the ex miners and our women. This is PF for you with its pro poor policies. The major reason why only a section of our youths were empowered is to turn them into a violent wing of PF against the UPND. Examples are there how HH and other UPND members were almost killed. Due to diminishing popularity all what PF can do is think and plan violence.
UPND – Freedom Fighter and Chairman for Mines and Minerals Development