ZAMBIA has an opposition that pretends to speak for the workers and poor people but in actual sense they are mouthpieces of foreign capital owners, Patriotic Front media director Sunday Chanda has claimed. He said the country was in urgent need of an opposition that puts the interests of miners, contractors, suppliers and the country first. Chanda alleged that the loudest voices in the opposition were lining up for funding from some mine owners to fight the government ahead of the 2021 elections.
He, however, did not identify the “mine owners”.
“Zambia is in dire need of an opposition that puts the interests of miners, contractors, suppliers and the country first. The loudest voices in the opposition are hired guns of capital and those they have promised to auction the country’s mineral wealth to in the unlikely event that they formed government,” Chanda said. “It’s a disservice to democracy when the loudest voices in the opposition are lining up for funding from some of these mine owners to fight government ahead of the 2021 elections. Zambia is not for sale to the highest bidder.”
He claimed the country’s opposition parties had neglected the workers following the government’s decision to disengage Vedanta Resources Limited from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). Chanda said the opposition was opposed to a liquidation process meant to protect the workforce and engage an investor who would protect the interest of Zambians. He said President Edgar Lungu was committed to ensuring operations at KCM are sustained and job losses were prevented, contrary to the opposition leaders who were busy painting a gloomy picture instead of supporting the Zambian people.
“The opposition has gone further to misinform local and international audiences that the move by government is meant to nationalise the mine. This is a deliberate lie being told by opposition leaders,” he said.
Chanda said the issues at the KCM date back as far as 2013 when the state commissioned an audit into irregularities at the mine.
He said the PF government had to be methodical and not disruptive on the issues surrounding KCM.
“We have also observed each of the two opposition leaders belonging to an alliance claiming that they individually forced government to act on KCM after their visits to Chingola. One of the two argues that government’s decision has been very harsh. His colleague however says he agrees with government but not with the process. These childish lies by people who are supposed to be in an alliance are shameful to say the least,” said Chanda.
“We ought to remind our colleagues in the opposition that KCM is not a partisan affair but a national one. We are aware that while one of the two is interested in privatising KCM to his friends as he promised in 2016 during a rally in Chingola; the other one is eyeing scrap metal at the mine at the expense of safeguarding the interests of Zambia, contractors, suppliers and miners.”/