UPND chairperson for mines Percy Chanda writes:
We have read media reports indicating that the PF regime is in negotiations with some Chinese firms on the possible ‘sale’ of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM).
As expected, the PF are being secretive and obviously taking an undesirable route in this whole transaction, and that’s what we feared.
The PF must come clean on whether this transaction is not one of those disguised as sale, yet it is being gifted to the Chinese as part of the debt swap.
Citizens need to know on whether the debt mountain owed to the Chinese government does not mean our country is now not being auctioned by the grabbing of our prized assets such as KCM, like was the case with the dubious ZNBC transaction.
Simply put, is the so called sale, a Chinese debt unbundling exercise under the smokescreen of a business transaction?
And citizens, particularly those on the Copperbelt openly rejected the Chinese take over, of the mines because of the misery they have caused in other towns such as Chambeshi township.
Zambians will not allow a covert and fraudulent take over of their assets through the backdoor, arising from reckless borrowing which we warned the PF against.
Citizens will demand for total transparency from the PF on this impending sale, failure to which they will be called upon to account when the UPND takes over Government.
But more importantly to us, any sale of KCM to other investors should consider the following as a bare minimum:
1. Employees must be given their dues before another investor takes over.
2. Any investor who will take over should consider employing those who have been working for contractor companies on permanent employment before going for outsiders.
3. KCM suppliers and contractors, especially local companies, should be paid their dues in full before embarking on fresh contracts.
*UPND Chairperson for Mines and Freedom Fighter*