KCM Woes

It is totally unacceptable that Zambia’s second largest mine should be flooded and miners rescued from certain    death because of deliberate human action.

How can any right thinking Zambian or foreigner for that matter turn off power to an operating mine?

We entirely agree that this is nothing but economic sabotage.

That KCM mines have been flooded, smelter closed down and operations suspended because of a commercial debt are a cold and calculating act of insensitivity which should receive the strongest possible retribution from the Government.

Both parties, CEC and KCM, have no right to imperil our national heritage by putting their commercial interests above our collective national endeavour.

It is equally sad that our courts of law remain insular and make far-reaching determination that endangers lives and the economy.

We totally agree with acting President Edgar Lungu: Government must intervene to ensure that the best interests of the country are served.

In their order of precedence the interests of the nation include continued productivity, continued employment and production for the world market.

Anything that stands in the way of these three goals is unacceptable.  Mining is the mainstay of this economy and any activity or lack of it which undermines this premise should be dealt with vigor and assurance to leave no doubt of Government intention to promote the well-being of the nation.

There is no doubt that Government has taken extraordinary steps to assist KCM get back on its feet.  A recovery programme has been worked out with the assistance of the company owners who have resolved to recapitalize and provide additional liquidity to overcome operational problems.

We are aware that Vedanta has undertaken to provide an additional US$250million and further K400million to refloat the company towards enhanced productivity that will in due course increase national production capacity.

It does not make sense therefore that Government effort should be undermined at a time that the first steps are being taken towards this cherished goal of turning round Konkola which is one of the largest mines in the country.

Our appeal to the Government is to ensure regular monitoring of the vital sectors of the economy to ensure that national interest remains predominant. There is no doubt that what has transpired between KCM and CEC would not have taken place if there was regular Government oversight.

We should not, ever, allow this type of madness to recur.