By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Nchanga Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo is disappointed with police for cancelling the permit which was granted for people of Chingola to hold a peaceful protest against Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
Mr Chilombo has maintained that he is with the community and the mining unions that want Vedanta Mineral Resources to leave and hand over KCM to government.
Speaking during the press briefing at Nchanga National Assembly Constituency Office, Mr Chilombo said the people have been patient with Vedanta and there is no reason why Vedanta should stay.
“They have failed. The mine has two options to either recapitalize or give back the mine. And I have a doubt if they can recapitalize the mine because they have been making empty promises without injecting any money into KCM.
“Chingola is economically dead and people wanted to protest to show that enough is enough and they have suffered. The people have been denied the permit according to police for security reasons but I’m not buying the precaution story from the police,” he said.
The MP said the cancellation of the permit was like the people of Chingola have committed a serious crime when they just wanted to express their displeasure.
Mr Chilombo said the living conditions of the community in Chingola is affected because of the poor economy.
“People can’t manage even a single meal because their lives depend on what they get from the mine. And this is the mine which can’t even pay its workers on time.
“Before this investor run away its better to act as soon as possible. People are not interested in any promise from KCM investors. They should just pack and go. They have been in Chingola for 15 years yet there is nothing to show of what the company has done for Chingola,” he said
Mr Chilombo said the plant looks like it has been deserted and like no works are taking place.