Mine policy analyst, Musonda, claims govt incompetence in handling of Vedanta deal


Mine policy analyst, James Musonda, claims that the lapse of the agreement between government and Vedanta Resources to recapitalise Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) has exposed some level of incompetence.

On Wednesday, mine union leaders said during a media briefing in Kitwe that KCM’s open pit mines risked being flooded for lack of recapitalisation.

Musonda in a statement on Friday alleged that when government ‘handed out’ Vedanta, it was intending to play politics.

“Vedanta proved to be reckless when it comes to human rights,” he stated.

Musonda claimed that since the announcement of Vedanta taking over KCM, the country had been subjected to inconsistent statements.

“If you followed it initially, they said they signed the deal but later changed that they have not signed the deal again and came back saying that they have now signed the deal, when you play politics with mining eventually you will be exposed to failure, it is very clear that there is lack of direction,” he stated.

Read more : ‘KCM a dead horse’, Unions allege mine in poor shape, demand full disclosure of Mopani deal (video)

Musonda also said one way of looking at it was that the government itself was ‘incompetent’ and failed to address the loopholes during negotiations.

He said the second thought was that the government was scared that Vedanta was making outrageous demands which might include not paying taxes or being given incentives that the government would be very ashamed of once leaked to the media.

“The third issue is that Vedanta doesn’t have the money in that they were making outrageous promises even before evaluating the status of KCM. The beauty about life is that you get to be exposed,” Musonda said.

He urged the government to be a bit more proactive and more serious in the running of the mines.

Musonda said as much as the call to focus on agriculture was on point it should not be done as a replacement to mining.

“The cost of a tonne of maize and copper, cobalt, gold cannot be compared in pricing, the country is entering the global renewable energy economy, and you start directing people away from where the money is, we warned that Vedanta is not a company to trust, now we have been proved right,” he stated.

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