The PF government has continued ‘shouting’ at and threatening mining houses and passing the blame for job losses and poverty to them.
The latest careless statement has just come from the PF cadre installed as at the heart of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH).
ZCCM-IH director Pius Kasolo says ZCCM is ready to completely take over all the struggling mines in the country. Kasolo has accused mines such as Mopani of trying to make the PF lose elections by firing workers.
‘You see these international companies play politics, and the economy of the mining affects the mining and buying, so for Mopani to say they are closing, there could be some economic benefits but there could be some political reasons too because there are some VAT problems, tax issues so we don’t know, until we sit down. We look at their mining plans and their costs of production,’ Kasolo told one of the government newspapers.
Kasolo said ZCCM is ready to take over the running of mines facing operational challenges as a way of saving jobs but not to making profit.
Kasolo said ZCCM-IH holds minority shares in most of the mining companies is interested in maintaining the viability of the mining industry which he said is critical for Zambia’s social and economic development.
Kasolo said ‘my role here as an investment company in Zambia is to create wealth for my shareholders and safeguard jobs for Zambians. I am a Zambian, I have to safeguard jobs for Zambia, so if ZCCM has to take over, we shall take over.’
It is these statements from such individuals that are fuelling confusing in the mines. Kasolo as CEO of ZCCM sits in the board meetings of all the mining companies and is supposed to be bound by collective responsibility. Now with such outbursts, we wonder how other board members are going to view him in the next meeting. Will other board members share key information with this PF cadre knowing very well that he has a dark, hidden agenda of being the managing director of Mopani, KCM and other mining companies? Is his interest really to save jobs or to take over as the main boss? He obviously dreams of a time when all the mines will be under ZCCM with him as CEO.
The PF will need to be realistic and president Lungu should be careful with all sorts of people trying to advance personal interests using his desperation.
Can PF cadres run a mine of Mopani magnitude?