By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) says they are disappointed with the manner in which the UPND administration is handling the issues in the mining industry related to the liquidation of KCM as well as the Mopani purchase deal.
PeP leader Sean Tembo said about three days ago, the Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe addressed a highly confrontational meeting in front of the media, at KCM at which he made all sorts of accusations against the Liquidator, in addition to chastising him for failing to attend the meeting.
“There is no question that the issues facing KCM and Mopani are many and complex. However if the new UPND administration in particular and the nation at large is going to make progress regarding these issues so as to reach an amicable way forward, there is need for Government officials such as the Minister of Mines to exercise maturity and desist from being confrontational and seeking to apportion blame, and the Minister should also desist from carrying the media to attend these high level meetings that will determine the future of KCM and Mopani,” he said
Mr Tembo advised Mines minister to stop playing to the gallery and just do his job in a sober manner that will bring about the most positive outcome which will be in the best interests of the Zambian people.
He has also appealed to the Mines Minister in particular and the UPND administration in general to focus on explaining their policies to the people.
Mr Tembo said this is so that Zambians can understand exactly what they are trying to do.
“For instance, it is on record that while in opposition Mr Hakainde Hichilema strongly opposed the placing of KCM into liquidation, and he also strongly opposed the Mopani purchase deal therefore, now that Mr Hichilema is the President of Zambia, everyone would like to know his position on these two issues,” he said.
Mr Tembo question whether or not President Hichilema is he going to proceed with the KCM liquidation and Mopani purchase deal.
He said that So far the UPND administration has been undecided on these two issue, echoing that for as long as such indecision continues, there will be uncertainty in the mining sector. Such uncertainty will obviously hinder investment into the sector and undermine production.
“We wish to remind President Hichilema that the mining sector is inevitably the backbone of our economy and therefore it cannot afford to suffer from the President’s indecision. It must be noted that even the current improvement in our balance of payment position as well as fiscal position is directly attributed to the mining sector and increase of copper prices on the world market due to the advent of electric cars.
If Zambia is going to continue benefiting from these high copper prices on the world market, we need to increase production and that can only come about if President Hichilema faces and addresses the issues at KCM and Mopani,” he said.