THERE is a silent voice of frustration, anger and revolt on the Copperbelt, says Copperbelt Young Leaders Initiative for Justice and Peace executive director Abraham Phiri. Phiri says the PF should be sincere with the manner it is handling the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mines. In an interview, Phiri said the levels of poverty have reached alarming levels.
“It looks simple by word of mouth. But the reality is so catastrophic. The consequences of things coming will be bad. People will use any means to liberate themselves. This is not the Copperbelt we know. There is a growing silent voice of frustration and anger,” Phiri said.
“We feel, the people on the Copperbelt are neglected. They do not have a leadership that is putting their needs at heart. The feeling on the Copperbelt is that only a small group of people are benefiting from national resources.”
He said currently there were big projects on the Copperbelt from which people have not benefited.
“Look, we have the huge construction of an airport in Ndola. That project is so huge that if we had a leadership that cares, decent and well-paying jobs could have been realised. Money could have been in circulation. We also have the Kafulafuta water project. Now who is benefiting? If it’s our people, we can’t have this level of poverty in the province. This money from the projects should be seen to be in circulation,” Phiri said.
“It is not strange that only a few are benefiting, the Chinese and those close to power. But is this the way things should be? We need leadership that cares for the poor.”
He also cautioned the government over KCM’s liquidation.
“Now this issue of KCM has taken us aback. This process is lacking transparency and smells corruption. It seems only a group is targeting to benefit from KCM. The PF should be very careful, or they will send many of our people in abject poverty,” said Phiri.