Opposition National Restoration party (NAREP) President Elias Chipimo says it is too dangerous to suggest that government takes over the running of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)in view of the company’s decision to lay off over 1,500 workers.
Mr. Chipimo has told QFM News in an interview that things might get worse than the current situation is at the mine if government continues to interfere.
Mr. Chipimo has advised government to sit down with key stakeholders and see how best they can improve the operations at KCM.
He notes that the PF government has no money and capacity to take over the operations of KCM.
Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Chishimba Nkole has suggested that government takes over KCM until it finds a suitable investor to run the mine.
President Michael Sata has threatened to revoke Konkola Copper Mine’s mining licence if the mining giant proceeds with its plans to lay off 1,500 workers.
President Sata says his government will not allow KCM to fire even one miner.
He says he will revoke the licence for KCM if the mining firm dares government with its plans.
But KCM spokesperson Joy Sata says the mining giant will engage government over the planned move.
President Sata was speaking at State House this morning when he opened a Cabinet meeting.
President Sata has since warned KCM Chief Executive Officer Kishore Kumar against exploiting Zambians.
He says the PF government is aware that KCM wants to use blackmail following the revocation of SI 89.
The Head of state accused mining companies of trying to avoid paying taxes by exporting Copper concentrates.
President Sata also directed Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda to increase revenue collection from mining sector.
According to KCM, the move is in line with its continued restructuring of operations.
The company said it was moving towards mechanisation and automation in view of the decreased copper grades at some of its mines.