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UNIONS OPPOSE MINE PRIVATIZATION

By ADRIAN MWANZA 

MINE Unions have opposed the outright privatization of the Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines as hinted by the Minister of Mines, Paul Kabuswe.

They have instead called on Government to find resources to retain control of the two mines and prove that a state owned mining conglomerate has an equal chance to survive and thrive.

MUZ president Joseph Chewe has also made it very clear that that they would not tolerate Vedanta who  were making overtures of  a comeback using underhand methods.

Mr Chewe said that he had even informed the Mines minister that they would not accept Vedanta at all costs because the firm was up to no good.

“As MUZ , nothing has changed and we hope Vedanta is not trying to come back using backdoor tricks because they almost landed the people of the Copperbelt in problems,” he said.

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“My plea is that government should preferably have the bigger stake in the mining firms so that as a country we can have a yardstick that a government-owned company can run successfully,” he said.

He said that MUZ would not condone any maneuvers by Vedanta which was given a number of chances by government but they continued to make excuses.

Meanwhile  MUZ secretary general George Mumba said government needed to be very careful when dealing with the matter of the two mines.

The Union, he said , had heard rumors about the sale but did not have facts but indicated that they would not accept the likes of Vedanta which caused more harm than good to return.

Mr Mumba said that MUZ had maintained its position and that he hoped that the government would maintain the majority of stakes in the mining firms.

He said they did not want to have a repetition of what happened with KCM where thousands of miners were in limbo as they were about to lose their jobs. Mr Mumba said that there was need to find credible investors that would ramp up production for the two firms.

Meanwhile Government has remained mute over the alleged intentions to sell Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines (MCM). Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe in an interview said that he would give a clear stance of government in due course, because Government was reviewing the situation and that it was too early to state the way forward,  “We are going to inform the nation at an opportune time over the way forward for the two mines KCM and MCM,” he said.   

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