By SIMON MUNTEMBA in Chingola
THE decision by Government to put Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) under liquidation is to make it viable and avert the looming job losses, Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Richard Musukwa has said.
Meanwhile, Mines Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Joseph Chewe has welcomed the liquidation of KCM, saying the move was timely.
Mr Musukwa who confirmed the appointment of Mr Lungu of Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company as provisional liquidators for KCM in Chingola yesterday, said the decision was to avert the looming crisis at the company.
Mr Musukwa, who was accompanied by Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Simukoko and other senior government officials, also assured the mine workers of job security.
“This decision is to ensure that we avert the looming crisis at KCM by solving the problems of unemployment, job losses and the huge indebtedness in terms of contractors and suppliers platform.
“Including guaranteeing the operationalisation of Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) in Chililabombwe. In short, to make KCM viable,” Mr Musukwa said.
The Minister said the liquidator would ensure the smooth operation of KCM until the matter which in court was exhausted.
And Mr Lungu has confirmed serving the court’s documents to KCM’s lawyers. He said as a liquidator, he would ensure workers were paid. Meanwhile Mr Chewe said the union was happy with the move.
“We are happy that the concerns of the workers have been heard. We thank the government for this development because the workers have been crying for a long time,” he said.
Last week President Lungu instructed the Attorney-General Likando Kalaluka to start disengagement proceedings with KCM.
KCM had been downsizing its workforce since 2016 when copper prices plummeted on the international market.