By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Nchanga Member of Parliament Derricky Chilundika has condemned the three mine unions that have expressed interest to support the return of Vedanta Resources to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
Speaking at a press briefing held at his office today, Mr Chilundika said that it is shocking to see the same unions that protested against Vedanta Resources supporting the investor’s return.
He said the unions called on him when he was in opposition to unity with miners so that Vedanta Resources can leave the mines.
Mr Chilundika reiterated that Vedanta Resources is not worth returning to run KCM, as they failed tremendously.
Mr Chilundika was reacting the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ), who held a press briefing on Monday to back the return of Vendata Resources under their set conditions.
And Mr Chilundika said that the miners did not want Vedanta to continue running KCM as it repeatedly could not actualize promises.
He said that Vendata Recourses is an investor of promissory notes, and has no guarantee that in the New Dawn Government they will implement their promises.
He said that the mines need a viable investor that will respect Cooperate Social Responsibility, and respect all local employees.
Mr Chilundika has called on the unions that are in support of Vedanta Resources to be patriotic and speak for the interest of employees.
The Nchanga Parliamentarian said miners should remember how they suffered under Vendata, and how better working conditions proposals were not entertained.
“It is surprising and shocking that the same unions that protested against Vedanta Resources, are calling for the investors’ return, you need to understand that this investor neglected the community, such that they could not even help rehabilitate Nchanga General Hospital, if you organise yourselves in masses and make Vendata come back, you will be reminded of this day, as you are good and calling for things and blaming Government when it fails” he said.
Mr Chilundika called on miners to stand on firm ground, speak the same language for once and make one decision that should stand its ground.
He said that genuinely the mine unions were not even supposed to speak like that, but it should be known that some of these union leaders are politically inclined, aiming at denting the name of the Government of the day.
“I want to appeal to the ordinary miners to choose worthy leaders to lead unions, once elections are called as the current leaders have outlived their terms in office. Choose leaders that will genuinely address your plight, because this Vedanta they are crying for made you suffer for years without any salary increments whatsoever, it was because of the fight against Vedanta that miners elected me as their MP” he said.
Mr Chilundika also appealed to residents to allow Government to make a decision that will benefit the country and local residents.