By ROGERS KALERO
IRATE Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) employees yesterday protested over Government’s delay to approve the payment of US$15 million second batch of benefits which they had worked for under Glencore PLC.
The giant mining company had already secured the money to pay the miners, but it was waiting for the government’s approval before it could start paying the miners.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia President Joseph Chewe said as per procedure, the government needed 48 hours to approve the payment of the benefits because of the amount of money involved.
“MCM has already secured the US$15 million needed to pay the miners, but being under the government, it needed approval from the Secretary to the Treasury hence this delay to pay. Government needs about 48 hours to approve such amount,’’ Mr Chewe said.
He said the miners were angered because, despite being promised to be paid on two occasions, nothing had come to fruition and had a lot of issues to sort out using the same money which they were waiting for.
And speaking earlier at Katilungu House, the irate miners showered unprintables on Mr Chewe and the new Kitwe District Commissioner, Mr Lawrence Mwanza as they demanded that they should be paid their benefits.
Despite the meeting with the MCM management, Mr Mwanza failed to convince and calm the irate miners as they continue to rubbish his assurances that they will be paid.
After failing to convince the miners, the two drove away from Central Offices leaving the protesting miners with police keeping vigil.