By BENNIE MUNDANDO
GOVERNMNET’s strong stance on Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is a strong signal to truant investors that Zambia is not a kangaroo nation where the rule of law is trampled upon with impunity thereby rendering citizens to be at the mercy of unscrupulous businesses, Edward Mumbi has said.
On Friday, President Edgar Lungu announced Government will disengage with KCM saying he would not allow Zambia to be blackmailed or arm twisted by mining investors as the country was still ripe for investment.
He said Government had resolved to part with KCM and would invoke the legal process to that effect.
The President assured that Government would follow the due process of the law in disengaging with the KCM investor, Vedanta Resources.
“We have been taken for a ride by some of these investors. So I am here to announce that Government is divorcing KCM,” President Lungu said.
And speaking to the Sunday Nation yesterday, Mr. Mumbi, a development activist, said the decision by Government to disengage from KCM, was a wake-up call to other foreign companies doing business in Zambia.
He said the decision should serve as a clear message to investors that truancy did not pay.
He said the decision on KCM was long overdue because the company had reached an extent of tainting mining business in Zambia.
“Government’s decision is in the best interest of Zambians. We may have minerals but we all know that minerals are a diminishing resources and if we do not make use of it to build our country by allowing foreigners to exploit it while giving us peanuts, future generations will suffer because they will have nothing left,” Mr Mumbi said.
“For a long time now, KCM has been claiming that it was making losses and was among other companies that have been trying to arm-twist government,” he said.
“Government said no employer must lose jobs on the mines but with impunity, they went ahead and cuts jobs on flimsy grounds simply because of the Sales Tax regime and so, let them go,” he said.
Mr Mumbi called on all stakeholders to rally behind Government’s decision because there was no other option left.
He urged political parties not to politicise the matter but look at the bigger picture by putting the interest of Zambians first.