(By Charles Tembo in Luanshya)
MINES minister Richard Musukwa says NDC is a product of undisciplined PF members.
Meanwhile, Roan PF parliamentary candidate Joel Chibuye says “I don’t have my own vision, but I will ride on the vision of the Patriotic Front.”
Musukwa said the government was shocked to learn of the challenges miners were going through when former Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili once served in government without mentioning anything.
Speaking at a PF interactive forum in Luanshya on Monday, Musukwa said the by-election in Roan was caused because “Kambwili resigned on principle”.
“The by-lection is as a result of Chishimba Kambwili resigning on principle. Now, NDC is a product of undisciplined PF members,” he said. “Principally, they are our members who are undisciplined. It is a fight of our undisciplined members. Even in a home, we can’t tolerate indiscipline. They are just some prodigal sons masquerading as NDC when they are PF.” Musukwa said Kambwili was only insulting the President instead of speaking for the people in Roan.
“Instead of speaking for the poor people of Roan, he spoke for himself. We are shocked that he failed to resolve issues that we are hearing from Roan today about miners,” he said. “He served in the highest office, but never brought it to the attention of government. We have a moral obligation to do the right thing for the people of Roan. You have seen how Chishimba Kambwili has been insulting the President. Running the country is not about rhetoric or being good in proverbs.”
Musukwa also warned mining houses against abusing Zambian workers.
“Let me warn mining houses to do with working conditions, to follow the law. No mine will be allowed to break the law with impunity. Respect our workers. Local people should benefit from local resources,” he said.
Musukwa said the government had given Luanshya Copper Mines 90 days from last month to open Shaft 28 in Roan.
“Shaft 28 has been for a long time a topical issue. We had written to LCM. Shaft 28 needs huge resources…. Government has directed LCM to structure a mine plan. We have told LCM to say if they don’t have resources, to surrender the mine to government so that government can look for resources to open it. Time is of essence. We have given them 90 days from last month….to start a programme to reopen shaft 28,” said Musukwa.
Copperbelt PF chairman Nathan Chanda said no party members from other towns on the Copperbelt would be allowed to campaign in Roan.
He said the PF wants to see a free and non-violent campaign during and after the parliamentary by-elections.
PF is fielding Joel Chibuye in Roan.
Chanda said the people of Luanshya and Roan would campaign for themselves.
“Our campaign should be issue based, telling the people what the PF has done. We will not accept the hiring of people to campaign for us here. The people of Luanshya and Roan will campaign for themselves. We will not allow any form of violence especially the youths,” Chanda said.
“PF is still commanding the Copperbelt. We are going in this election not to change the President, the mayor or councillors, but to replace someone who had failed to represent the people of Roan. Someone’s big mouth has caused this by-election and it’s the taxpayers’ money that will be spent because of some big bad mouth. Voting for Joel Chibuye is voting for development. It will be very difficult for an opposition MP to work with us.”
And Chibuye said he would ride on the vision of the PF.
“I don’t have my own vision, but I will ride on the vision of the Patriotic Front. No one should die for lack of medical services like drugs in hospitals. That is why the PF is working on all this and that is the vision of the PF on which I will ride on. I shall ensure that under the PF manifesto, we engage the Ministry of Health to seek health services within the reach of our people,” he said. “People were denied the services and they are lagging behind. We had people who just put their interest first. For us in PF roads are on top of things. We want to amend and correct all the things that are remaining behind.”
Chibuye said the suffering of miners was not caused by PF.
“The PF is not rhetorical, but works and do the right thing for the people. The suffering of the miners is not a cause of the PF. The PF is however, working on the problems that were caused for the miners in Luanshya. The issues affecting the miners have taken long because you did not have representation. We shall never have development, if we make a mistake again. God has brought someone closer to you,” said Chibuye.