By JOHN SAKALA
Mines Minister Richard Musukwa will today Monday August 20, 2018, write to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) demanding payment of all arrears to suppliers and contractors.
Mr Musukwa was speaking at Nchanga Golf Club over the weekend after he received demands from both Chingola Chamber of Commerce and Industry members and also from Mine Suppliers and Contractors.
The Minister who was accompanied by Director of Mines Mooya Lumamba said that there is need to galvanize the Small and Medium Enterprise for Zambia to be viable.
“But if you are not paid on time you suffer the impact of bank interests on loans which don’t wait for delayed payment from KCM. To ensure that we move at the same pace, my office will write KCM demanding for payment of all suppliers and contractors within seven days.
“Government has a duty to change the course of Zambia and will not allow Copperbelt to suffer harm just because some mining firm is doing bad business. We will provide leadership. If mines want to dare Government we shall provide them with a Statutory Instrument (SI) because the role of Government is to provide confidence to our people,” he said.
But Mr Musukwa clarified that the suppliers and contractors have an obligation with KCM and not with Government, hence the need to know who owes the money.
He said Government’s role was to ensure that the locals are getting a fair share from the investors and are paid on time.
“We don’t run Government on Radio Station where you go and complain expecting us to respond. That we will not do. If you want to bring politics in your non payments and start insulting my Government that won’t go well because Government doesn’t owe you but KCM,” he said.
And Nchanga Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo said that it is not a secret that people of Chingola would be happy to see KCM go.
Mr Chalimbo said for the contracted labour to be paid at KCM they have to go on work boycott.
He said the people of Chingola need to benefit from the mine that is domiciled in their district.
Meanwhile, Chingola Chamber vice president Emmanuel Gardner said the suppliers and contractors need KCM same as KCM needs the suppliers and contractors.
Mr Gardner said there is need for the associations to regroup and push harder so that there is leveling of the business ground.