Power and Politics

Hichilema deserves no applause for allowing foreign dominance of mining sector —EFF


The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says the continued dominance of international mining companies in Zambia is stifling the growth of small-scale mining enterprises.

EFF Party president, Kasonde Mwenda, said apart from hindering their participation in the mining sector, the situation was perpetuating economic dependency.

Kasonde in a statement issued in Lusaka on Saturday was reacting to government’s decision to handle over Konkola Copper Mine to Vedanta and Mopani to International Resource Holdings of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“The lack of transparency and accountability in the mining sector has resulted in numerous challenges, including safety issues, misinvoicing and tax evasion,” he said.

Mwenda stated that it was disgraceful that President Hakainde Hichilema was being applauded for enriching foreign companies while the Zambian people suffer.

“It is disgraceful that President Hichilema is applauded for enriching foreign companies while the Zambian people suffer. Our resources must benefit all Zambians, not just international corporations,” the EFF leader said.

Mwenda demanded immediate action to address these issues and called for a regulatory framework that prioritises the interests of Zambian people.

“Under an EFF-led government, we will ensure local ownership, fair distribution of mining revenues, and empowerment of our people,” he said.

Read More: ‘Copperbelt back in business,’ Hichilema says as Shaft 28 mine commissioned in Luanshya

Mwenda stated that under the EFF, the party would not tolerate the exploitation and marginalization of Zambians because it was rime for the mines to benefit Zambians.

He condemned government for its decision to hand over KCM back to an insolvent Vedanta, leading to the loss of over 1000 jobs at Master Mines Services.

“Employees of many other KCM affiliated contracting companies whose contracts have been terminated are or have already lost their jobs,” Mwenda stated.

He said the betrayal of campaign promises and surrender of control over the country’s resources to foreign entities that do not have the financial capacity to run the operations was unacceptable.

Mwenda claimed that KCM was currently on care and maintenance and not operating at capacity, adding to the continued decline of copper production and revenue from the mining sector.

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