MUFULIRA’S Ex-miners Motivation Platform chairperson Donald Kabashila says the government should give them the famous black mountain while they wait for the promised farm land.
In an interview, Kabashila said it had been two years since President Edgar Lungu promised to give them farm plots but no ex-miner had so far received any land from the government.
“The President showered us with promises that we were not going lose our jobs but we did and later he promised us with farm plots; that was in 2015 and we are still waiting. It’s now rainy season and we have not yet been given any farm plots so we have come up with initiative of asking for empowerment so that they can give us the black mountain,”
He said the black mountain in Mufulira would act as indirect employment for the ex-miners as they had not been doing anything since they were retrenched. Kabashila said President Lungu’s promises had not been fulfilled and that the people who were surrounding him had politicised the situation .
He said the government must create good incentives for the mines so that they could recall the ex-miners to work. Kabashila further appealed to Mufulira members of parliament to ensure that the matter of ex-miners was pushed in the House and the black mountain was given to them. He added that the issue of ex-miners was non-partisan and that no political party was using them as they were simply bringing out matters that affected them.
“As we are looking forward to receiving the land, were are humbly appealing to the President to give us the black mountain so that we can make use of it, before and after retrenchment. We were promised a lot of things, land inclusive, but up to now, we haven’t received it. In as much as Mopani is reinstating workers, we understand that they will not reinstate everyone due to various factors,”
And National Ex-miners and Allied Workers Association of Zambia president Taulo Chewe has appealed to the government to speed up the process of allocating land to the ex-miners retrenched in 2015.
“Kitwe ex-miners have been relocated to Lufwanyama, the remaining miners have been put in the second phase. Chingola has been allocated 4,000 hectares and…some farms have already been given out. In Solwezi, we have 421 ex-miners and 91 pieces of land have been demarcated. In Mufulira, we have 1,800 hectares given. However, we are not happy with the way things are moving and we are appealing to government to speed up the process,”