By OLIVER SAMBOKO
NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has shown more political maturity than Hakainde Hichilema by supporting the stance by Government not to allow Glencore to put Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) on care and maintenance, PF deputy National secretary Mumbi Phiri has said.
She said it was encouraging that Mr Kambwili supported Government’s decision not to allow Glencore to place the mining firm on care and maintenance unlike his counterpart who even amidst the COVID-19 situation decided to go to Muchinga Province to play politics.
Ms Phiri said Zambia depended on the mines for economic survival and the serious and pragmatic effort demonstrated by Kambwili deserved commendation.
She said the PF agreed with the NDC leader that political leaders both in Government and the opposition and all stakeholders must put their foot down and not allow the mines in Kitwe and Mufulira to be closed.
Ms Phiri challenged the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to take a leaf from Mr Kambwili and begin to show some levels of patriotism rather than frustrations and bitterness.
Ms Phiri said it was unacceptable for leaders to remain divided on political lines when Zambians were not seeing tangible benefits from Mopani as the company had employed many expatriates and engaged foreign contractors and suppliers at the expense of locals.
“It is against this background that we want to encourage the NDC leader to continue with the same spirit of engaging government on such important and national matters so as to avoid mere politicking and speculation when there were thousands of jobs and lives of people at stake,” she said.
She said it was also clear that Mr Hichilema does not care about the suffering COVID-19 has brought to the people of Zambia and therefore sees nothing wrong with going on radio to politic about the situation in the country.
“The COVID-19 situation in Muchinga where Mr Hichilema was busy politicking is not conducive for anyone to go there and start politicking, in fact we are just coming from there and seeing the situation, we couldn’t even have time to go to the radio station,” she said.
“It’s unfortunate that our colleague HH because he has the money to connect to any radio station he sees nothing wrong with COVID-19 because his only interest is politicking when the people are suffering,” she said.
Ms Phiri also castigated the UPND for suggesting that the country should be locked down saying such a move would be unreasonable because it would completely shut down the economy.
She said countries with total lockdowns like South Africa and Kenya were still experiencing a spike in cases of COVID-19 adding that calls for a lockdown were therefore not in the best interest of the country.
She said COVID-19 was going to be around for long time and it was only prudent for the country to embrace the new normal as appealed by President Edgar Lungu.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO