DON’T LAY OF WORKERS, MINING FIRMS WARNED

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…as disrespectful mine CEO is in trouble

By NATION REPORTER

GOVERNMENT has warned mining companies against taking unilateral decisions to lay off workers on the pretext of seeking recourse to the proposed new mine tax regime.

And Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has warned smugglers who may be preparing to conduct their illegal business during the festive season that they would be cornered and dealt with severely while their goods will be seized.

Mr Kampyongo cautioned the mining firms that were trying to arm twist it through threats of cutting down labour that government will also be forced to react by sending back some of the foreign labor in the mines.

“And my caution to those that have decided to take the labour matters as the way of arm twisting government that this time around we are resolved to make sure that we get the industry to do what is supposed to be done by them.

“We are in support of the Ministry of Labour who have said that we are not going to tolerate this kind of arm-twisting tactics by the mining houses. And most of these people who are making these decisions are here with our permits which is clear about what is expected of them. So they downsize the local workers, we also send back some of the foreign workers and we will decide who to send back,’ Mr Kampyongo said. The Minister further said it was disheartening that some mining firms had the audacity to dare government over the budget measures that the ministry of Finance had proposed before it was concluded.

He singled-out Lubambe mining company as one firm that was being disrespectful to the government and Zambians.

Mr Kampyongo disclosed that the chief executive officer (CEO) wrote a letter to the district commissioner in the area where the firm is operating in a disrespectful manner just because the DC had asked for some people to participate in a national event.

“And I have to single out one Mining Company, Lubambe which is trying to establish itself. We are following the development closely there. And I want to warn the CEO of Lubambe that if you want to continue being disrespectful to the Zambians either on management position or ordinary persons, you will certainly have no one to blame if we ask you to leave.

“You can’t believe this is the CEO who has the audacity to write to the DC saying, due to Zambia’s budget released on September 26, 2018 with very significant increase in loyalties, the non-deductibility loyalties, and the impending implementation of sales tax, Lubambe has no funds available to contribute to your cause,” Mr Kampyongo disclosed.

He said the Lubambe CEO will be summoned to show cause why he should not be disciplined for being disrespectful to Zambians.

Mr Kampyongo said there was need for mutual respect between the investors and government because investors were in this country due to natural capitals that Zambia have.

He said investors should not engage in a manner that shows they were doing Zambia a favour when they came to invest for a profit.

Meanwhile Mr Kampyongo has warned smugglers in the country to rethink and stop their illegal trade following its enhanced anti-smuggling operations.

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