The Minister of Mines must show maturity and refrain from being confrontational.

1. As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we are dissatisfied with the way the UPND administration is handling the mining industry issues related to the liquidation of KCM and the Mopani purchase deal. We saw the Minister of Mines, Hon. Paul Kabuswe, address a highly confrontational meeting in front of the media at KCM about three days ago, during which he levelled numerous accusations against the Liquidator while also chastising him for failing to attend the meeting.

 

2. Indeed, there is no question that the issues facing KCM and Mopani are many and complex. However if the new UPND administration in particular and the nation at large is going to make progress regarding these issues so as to reach an amicable way forward, there is need for Government officials such as the Minister of Mines to exercise maturity and desist from being confrontational and seeking to apportion blame. The Minister should also desist from carrying the media to attend these high level meetings that will determine the future of KCM and Mopani. In other words, the Minister should stop playing to the gallery and just do his job in a sober manner that will bring about the most positive outcome which will be in the best interests of the Zambian people.

3. As Patriots for Economic Progress we further wish to appeal to the Mines Minister in particular and the UPND administration in general to focus on explaining their policies to the people so that we can understand exactly what they are trying to do. For instance, it is on record that while in opposition Mr Hakainde Hichilema strongly opposed the placing of KCM into liquidation, and he also strongly opposed the Mopani purchase deal. Therefore, now that Mr Hichilema is the President of Zambia, everyone would like to know his position on these two issues. Is he going to proceed with the KCM liquidation and Mopani purchase deal or not? So far the UPND administration has been undecided on these two issues. However, for as long as such indecision continues, there will be uncertainty in the mining sector. Such uncertainty will obviously hinder investment into the sector and undermine production.

4. As Patriots for Economic Progress we wish to remind President Hakainde Hichilema that the mining sector is inevitably the backbone of our economy and therefore it cannot afford to suffer from the President’s indecision. It must be noted that even the current improvement in our balance of payment position as well as fiscal position is directly attributed to the mining sector and increase of copper prices on the world market due to the advent of electric cars. If Zambia is going to continue benefiting from these high copper prices on the world market, we need to increase production and that can only come about if President Hichilema faces and addresses the issues at KCM and Mopani. The sooner that the President addresses these issues, the better. If these matters are not urgently addressed, we risk undermining our entire economy in general and our balance of payment and fiscal positions in particular.

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