By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
National Democratic Congress(NDC) Nchanga Constituency parliamentary candidate Arthur Teleshi says instead of politicking over the KCM issue, all well-meaning Zambians should come on board and offer their patriotic and professional input.
Mr Teleshi says that is what is required from Zambians after they were all over the place pushing for Vedanta to leave KONKOLA Copper mines.
He said that now that the government responded and made them leave, there is no time to politick matters but to ensure that the mines are run smoothly again.
“Now the interest has shifted from seeing KCM being run by Zambians to seeing the Zambians fail to run the mines so that selfish individuals can make political mileage over the same, this is a case of blowing someone else’s candle hoping yours will shine brighter, not knowing that it will just make the room dim,” he said.
Mr Teleshi said that just like KCM was not run down in one day by Vedanta; it can also not be revived in just one day.
“There are a lot of things to be corrected, a lot of consultations to be made, funds to be pumped in and a lot of political cadres to be flushed out, but, if interested stakeholders and opposition politicians only want to politic over KCM, even the ones running it will equally politic at the expense of majority Zambians employed by KCM and the other citizens who are directly supposed to be benefitting from KCM,” he said.
Mr Teleshi added that as an incoming MP for Nchanga Constituency, the takeover of KCM by government will give him a good start in improving the working conditions and business environment at KCM.
“I will be sitting with fellow Zambians when negotiating and lobbying for a better run KCM as opposed to negotiating with foreigners over our own wellbeing with our very own mines and mineral resources, I will easily also have access to my fellow Zambians who can easily relate to our suffering than a foreigner whose only interest is making profits from the mines.’’
“Foreigners will not be as interested in our polluted environment, our surrounding infrastructure, our health facilities, our recreation facilities and all, because they will access these facilities in their countries of origin. They actually externalize the profits to improve these facilities in their own countries origin,” he said.
Mr Teleshi has pledged to work closely with the government to ensure that they achieve better working conditions for the miners and a fair business environment for the local mining suppliers and contractors.