By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The National Union Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) have dismissed reports of a potential meeting with Vedanta as mischievous and malicious.
NUMAW President Chansa James said the report is a deliberate attempt to alienate NUMAW and its leadership and members from the rest of well-meaning citizens who have agreed that the divorce with Vedanta is permanent.
Mr Chansa was reacting to a statement attributed to a senior executive of Vedanta Resources Holdings, which appeared in the Mast Newspaper of 4th March 2021. In this article, it was stated that Vedanta seeks to have an engagement with NUMAW leadership to discuss matters relating to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
He said the government’s decision to place KCM in liquidation was an outcome of a thorough thought-process following intense investigations on Vedanta’s failures at KCM.
Mr Chansa said NUMAW and colleagues in the union circles had highlighted Vedanta’s failures to authorities for many years until the government decided to take a firm and sound decision to divorce with the company by placing KCM under liquidation.
He said NUMAW is convinced that there is nothing new that Vedanta can offer and their promise to invest $1.5 billion in KCM is mere illusions and acts of trickery.
“No sane and well-meaning citizen would love to bring back Vedanta to KCM and NUMAW takes great exception to Vedanta’s calculated divide and rule tricks. NUMAW is in total solidarity with the Government, KCM workers, communities where KCM operates, the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and its members and the United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) and its members on the issue of Vedanta losing its social licence to operate in Zambia,” he said.
Mr Chansa said the union reiterates its commitment to seeing the liquidation of KCM concluded as quickly as possible for the benefit of employees and the people of Zambia.
He said they are in full support of measures taken by the Provisional Liquidator to restructure KCM into two entities because this is the only way that will bring growth and prosperity for the company.