Government’s failure to act on KCM shows PF incompetence to govern – Luonde
By Mwape Mbwelela
THE PF government’s failure to take action on KCM’s mistreatment of miners and contractors clearly shows their incompetence to run this country, says Father Richard Luonde.
Commenting on last week’s protests by KCM miners, the Fr Luonde, an Anglican priest, said it was unfortunate that PF under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu had allowed KCM to continue insulting Zambians by not only failing to pay the miners and contractors but by also subjecting them to inhumane conditions.
“We have always spoken and will not stop speaking about the sufferings of the majority Zambians, workers, the unemployed, farmers and students. When you live in a country where you are not cared for as citizens and you keep quiet, the end result is total suffering,” Fr Luonde, who is based on the Copperbelt, said.
He urged President Lungu to prioritise the welfare of Zambians than paying lip service each time he travelled to the mining towns.
“People are living like animals; people don’t know what to do and are living the ‘survival of the fittest’ life where only the fit eat first and the weak eat last. The government is not serious on the plight of KCM workers. The government is supposed to be mindful of how its citizens are treated but the opposite is happening now,” Fr Luonde said.
He said it was sad that the government and union leaders were in the forefront of exploiting their fellow citizens.
“The workers are not cared for, now it’s up to them to fight for their survival as the unions have concentrated on feeding their pockets by receiving brown envelops from investors at the expense of the Zambian workers,” said Fr Luonde.
“How do we live like that in a country? We are under-developed because we are being exploited, exploited with the help of those in leadership. We are being exploited and we have been exploited for a long time, first by colonialists, second by investors and now by fellow Zambians in leadership.”
KCM currently owes suppliers and contractors about $250 million which they had promised to settle by this month-end after a meeting with mines minister Christopher Yaluma.
But no payment has been made so far.
And last week, KCM miners protested for three days demanding a 30 per cent pay rise, grounding operations at shafts 1 and 3 in Chililabombwe, the only units that have remained operational.
They resumed work on Friday despite management not concretely promising to meet their demands.