A group of concerned Zambians has protested against the possible return of Glencore to Mopani Copper Mine through a proxy investor.
The protest which took place on Wednesday in Lusaka was triggered by the reported intention of Glencore to take control of Mopani again.
Diaspora Advocacy Centre Spokesperson, Wellington Lukele, who spoke on behalf of the protesters alleged that Glencore’s reputation was preceded by corruption, tax evasion, disregard for workers’ rights and the environment during their time at Mopani.
“Glencore is one of the largest mining companies which has a long history in Zambia. It previously operated the Mopani mine until they sold their majority stake to the Zambian government at an over priced value of US$1.5 million, Lukele said.
He observed that the decision to sell the stake was made after years of criticism over Glencore’s tax practices, environmental violation and poor labour conditions.
Lukele regretted that despite all the controversies surrounding Glencore operations in Zambia, the company is planning to sneak their way back at Mopani.
“We fear a return to the problems that plagued the company’s previous tenure. As protesters we argue that Glencore’s return would be detrimental to the environment,” he said.
He said the fears were that the return of Glencore will prioritize profit over the well-being of its employees.
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