Don’t politicise our demands – ex-miners

Don’t politicise our demands – ex-miners

By Thulani Phiri

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu should not politicise our genuine demands that his government honours its promises, says Luanshya ex-miners.

In an interview, Retrenched Miners’ League in Luanshya coordinator Alex Musosha said President Lungu was simply taking them for fools when he claimed that their call for a revolution was politically driven.

“We called for a political revolution because the PF government has failed us; it has betrayed us and it does not listen to our pleas anymore after the elections…these are sincere concerns. It is the PF that promised farmland for ex-miners; it is the PF that promised us empowerment after losing jobs and it is the PF that announced that the burden of paying our loans would be lessened. None of these things have materialised for many ex-miners on the Copperbelt. So what is politically motivating about this? President Lungu should not be misled. He should not politicise our sufferings,” Musosha said.

He said the ex-miners wanted President Lungu to be serious because poverty had no political inclination.

“It is unwise for the President to say we are being used by politicians. It is also unwise for him to say our calls were are politically motivated. What is so political about us saying we are suffering? What is political to say we need jobs he promised us?” Musosha asked. “It is better for him to keep quiet than mock us in this manner. It is so annoying to hear the Head of State speak like this. We have families and we are suffering. It’s real.”

He said ex-miners would not be intimidated because they were law-abiding citizens.

“No one will stop us from anything. If they are eating, we are suffering. But we demand respect from these leaders. We can’t be called names everyday, when it’s him (President Lungu) who said our jobs were safe and if we are retrenched, government will support our farming,” said Musosha.