Comments attributed to Fr Frank Bwalya that miners are careless in borrowing makes sad reading and is very demeaning to the miners and their families. This is coming from a party that has more than tripled Zambia’s debt from US$1.1 billion in 2011 to US$6.8 billion in 2015.
These comments betray the lack of respect and care the PF Government has for our miners now they are in State House. With this kind of thinking from our own Government a dangerous message is also sent to foreign investors.
Fr Bwalya only sees miners as tools of production, whereas we in the UPND look at miners as human beings first and partners in development.
We are aware in the UPND that miners live and work under very difficult conditions which does not call for the PF Government to be rewarding them with insults.
In case the PF Government is not aware, most of the current miners have no houses of their own as most of those who bought houses have retired. Therefore most miners took out mortgages in order to build houses.
At the time these miners got loans they had no idea they would end up in this mess. In fact it’s due to the visionless PF Government that miners have ended on the streets. It’s on record that President Lungu and his visionless PF Government kept cheating miners that no one will lose their job in the mines. Is this the more reason that the PF Government is sending these miners back to the land while the likes of Fr Bwalya are enjoying themselves in Luasaka?
But I can assure the PF Government that these same miners that you are now insulting will make you cry next year. Remember what I said “Miners are saying ifwe isumbu lyatenta but for President Lungu and his team likalepuka”.
These miners are failing to repay the loans because the interest rates have gone up as a result of the careless borrowing of the PF. The policy rate is now 15.5%, up from 9% when PF took office. This means the monthly repayments have gone up while job losses have left many without an income at all. To blame the miners and fail to see how Government is part of the problem shows once again just how deep in denial the PF remains.
UPND Chairman for Labour and Social Security