By ROGERS KALERO
UPND Chairman for Mines, Percy Chanda, who was once a vibrant union leader, has now lost the sympathy and support he had for the workers because he has been brainwashed in his party, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has said.
Mr Musukwa said the UPND official has been brainwashed and whatever he proposed for the mining sector was not in the interests of the nation, but was aimed at gaining political mileage and impressing his party leader Hakainde Hichilema.
The Minister was reacting to Mr Chanda’s criticism of Government’s decision to take over Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) from Vedanta Resources PLC.
A few days ago, the Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) was also perturbed by Mr Chanda’s sentiments over operations of KCM.
Mr Musukwa said the concerns raised by the MUZ over the various statements on social media from Mr Chanda and other UPND officials were genuine.
He was disappointed that a once vibrant union leader had lost the sympathy of the workers and was now just waffling to impress his colleagues in the opposition.
Mr Musukwa reiterated that miners at KCM had cried to the Government over the way Vedanta was running the mine, hence the decision to take over the assets.
“I am very surprised that Percy Chanda wants to make himself relevant to UPND by criticising the Government on the issue of KCM. Anyway, He wants to impress his masters but sometimes in an effort to impress your masters, you may injure yourself.
“I know Percy Chanda he was my branch chairman for National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) at Mopani Copper Mines in Mufulira. By that time, I was NUMAW national treasurer. Percy was a vibrant union leader, but he has been brainwashed. It is not Percy Chanda talking, but UPND,” Mr Musukwa said.