UPPZ president Charles Chanda has described the PF as a government of ‘murderers’.
Mines and Mineral Resources Minister Richard Musukwa on Thursday told Parliament that he was not going to resign because the Black Mountain victims were just scavengers.
After the accident at the Black Mountain which claimed 11 lives, different politicians started calling for Musukwa’s resignation saying he was incompetent after he assured the nation that the Black Mountain was not a disaster in waiting.
“I am not resigning, if criminals or illegal people invade a mining site like they did at the Black Mountain, surely that is not a good cause for me to resign. The accident that we are considering, as you know government gave a license to seven companies. The people involved in the accident were scavengers. [They] were people that had entered the mine site illegally. I want to further state that indeed what happened is unfortunate and it should not have happened. This accident happened as a result of failure of the illegal scavengers at the site to respect the provisions of the law. In short they failed to comply with the process in terms of what was happening at the site,” said Musukwa.
“This is what necessitated this accident. I want to further state that in terms of the safety procedures and standards that was put at the site, they were consistent with the standard practice in terms of mining. If criminals or illegal people invade a mine site like they did at the Black mountain, surely that is not a good cause for me to resign. I’m not resigning. I’m going to ensure that this matter, the unfortunate circumstance that has happened is never repeated by ensuring that our people comply with the mines and minerals act.”
But Chanda said Musukwa’s statement on the Black Mountain victims was an insult that Zambians should never forget.
“The sentiments by the Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa, calling suffering, unemployed, desperate Zambian youths who were promised by the PF government to vote scavengers is the worst crime a human being can commit. You were begging for votes from these people and they voted for you. Among your election promises, you said ‘if you vote for us, we will give you Black Mountain’. They vote for you…when you were begging for votes, you never called them scavengers. How on earth do you call a son of a Zambian citizen, whom the government has failed to give employment, a scavenger?”
“You have given the Chinese contracts, even of breaking stones on the Copperbelt. You have no heart…you are heartless. You are actually murderers. It is a government of murderers…without a heart for the citizens. It is a shame that the whole minister can rise up when people are mourning to call the deceased Zambian, with an NRC a scavenger. Do you know what you are talking about? Do you know that you are inciting Zambians to rise against your government? At least, you should have a heart of a human being…not to call someone’s child a scavenger. When this mountain was sold, you never thought about Zambians. You never thought about the youths on the Copperbelt. You sold it to the Chinese. It was after they threatened that they will boycott PF, that’s when you gave them [youths] 10 per cent.”
Chanda said only a lunatic could calculate 10 per cent of Black Mountain.
“You can’t calculate Black Mountain. That’s what you did. On the day that Black Mountain was given to the youths, the Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo is on record. He said this will be supervised by the Ministry of Mines. Honourable Minister of Mines, you have failed in your responsibilities to supervise the so-called scavengers. And Zambian youth, remember, don’t ever forget what the PF government is calling you. The youth on the Copperbelt, don’t ever forget what you are being referred to – scavengers. All the jerabos are now called scavengers, that is the new terminology coming from the PF government,”
“But I want to assure the nation…this tragedy, one day someone will be called to answer questions. One life is too much to lose…one of the youths that died was a street vender, who was chased from the streets and decided to partake of the 10 per cent. When you gave them the 10 per cent, you gave it to the youths whom you promised during a rally. So, don’t try to isolate or justify your murderer actions. We mustn’t do that. It is an embarrassment not only to the President but also to the whole continent that the minister can call someone who voted for him a scavenger. I hope and pray that the youth of this country will begin to see the true colours of the PF government. It is not a government; it is a group of people that are aiming to loot every resource we have.”
Chanda said the ‘murdering’ of the 10 youths on the Copperbelt was a plot by the PF to stop them from asking for it again.
“They should tell us that that was their plan. That is what the Minister of Mines should tell us. They should not insult the integrity of Zambians. That insult is on record and honourable minister you have called a Zambian citizen a scavenger, and yet they voted for you. God bless you for those words and may the souls of our young people who have not been given employment, who have not been given contracts, and yet foreigners are being given contracts…may God deliver Zambia from those who are calling us scavengers,” said Chanda.