United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia Leader, Charles Chanda, has suggested to government to prioritise payment of over US$200 million owed to local suppliers and contractors by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines.
Chanda said the payment of the overdue debts would have practical effects on stimulating the local economy, creating jobs, and encouraging investment in the region.
He emphasised in a statement issued on Sunday that the current situation was dire for the local suppliers and contractors whose businesses had suffered due to non-payment.
He claimed that many businesses have had to downsize their workforce, halt their operations temporarily or even permanently, while others had been pushed to financial ruin.
“If we want to see genuine economic growth and prosperity for the people of Chingola, the Copperbelt, and the whole country, we need to make sure that those who have done business with KCM and Mopani are not left high and dry,” said Chanda.
According to Chanda, it would also be a moral and ethical obligation for whoever took over the mining operations to make sure that the local suppliers and contractors were duly compensated.
He urged the UPND government to act swiftly and decisively on this matter and to prioritise the interests of the Zambian people over those of multinational corporations.
“We cannot let the global economic elites profit off the sweat and toil of our own people and then leave them with nothing. We need to ensure that those who have contributed to the wealth of our nation are given their fair share,” said Chanda.
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