President Edgar Lungu has threatened to arrest UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema if the UPND wins the general election next week in order to privatise the mines. According to President Lungu
Addressing the Mines Unions in Kitwe today, President Lungu stated that Mr. Hichilema has an insatiable desire to sell the country to foreigners and that the time has come for Mr. Hichilema to pay for the benefits of the privatisation exercise, before adding that he will not allow the sale of mines to take place as long as he is President.
President Lungu stated that he has received evidence that several opposition political parties have requested funds from foreigners in exchange for mining management if they are elected on August 12, 2021.
President Lungu questioned why some leaders participated in mining privatisations would still want to sell the mines back to outsiders. President Lungu has subsequently threatened to prosecute anyone implicated in the selling of mines if he wins the elections next week.
The President stated that United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema has requested $300,000 in exchange for the mines if he wins the 2018 elections.
“All those who sold the mines will be punished and I will deal with that matters slowly,” said President Lungu.
“ I am here to tell you that umulandu taubola, when I come back next week, I will prosecute HH for selling the mines,” Mr Lungu said.
He continued, “ Ulya umuntu aliba incorrigible, alilufyanya ichalo but he continues to do the same thing. I will send him to jail after 2021.”
He added that he has information that Mr. Hichilema has been soliciting favors from Vedanta Resources promising to give them back the mines if he wins the elections.
“He has been going to Vedanta and telling them that the US$ 100,000 he has received to help them get back the mines is not enough, he now wants Vedanta to give him US$300,000 and he will surrender the mines to them if he wins,” President Lungu claimed.
President Lungu said the Vedanta chapter in Zambia is fully closed.
President Lungu also refuted claims that Mr Hichilema is responsible for strengthening the kwacha against the dollar.
“Mr Hichilema is always contradicting himself with political statements he makes to the public which renders him untrustworthy,” the President said
And President Lungu has warned all foreign electoral observers not to interfere with the country’s electoral process.
“I will not be intimidated by western countries who are trying to intimidate me. Zambian people will decide who gets into State House. All those monitors are here to monitor and not to interfere. Campaigning and the electoral process is for Zambians and allow them to choose their leaders
And speaking earlier, Mine Union Workers of Zambia and National Union of Miners and Allied Workers presidents have pledged support to President Lungu by voting him into office next week.
Mr. Chewe said the developments at Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani have given hope to the miners while others are happy to have received their full terminal benefits.
Both Union leaders, James Chansa and Joseph Chewe thanked the President for ensuring miners are paid their benefits by the mine.
“We are confirming that we have received the money that you promised us,” said Mr. Chewe.
“You have really helped us and we are going to give u support because our jobs have been guaranteed,” said Mr Chewe.
Government has paid out K12 million to mine workers at Mopani Copper mine as their terminal benefits.
This was after President Lungu met the mine workers union leaders in Kitwe where the miners asked to be paid their dues after Glencore placed the mine under care and maintenance.