Government has warned that it will not take kindly to any mining company that decides to lay off its workers arbitrarily under the pretext of the new mining tax regime.
Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has reminded all mining companies of the standing order which obliges them to consult the Government through the Ministry of Labour before any decision to retrench any worker is effected.
Mr Kambwili says Government has learnt with concern that Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi has retrenched 93 workers and plans to retrench 400 others.
He says it is Government’s considered view that should there be need to retrench anyone by the mining companies, the first workers to be retrenched should be expatriates and not Zambians.
Mr Kambwili in a statement says Government has been extremely flexible and magnanimous on the issue of the mining tax as evidenced by President Edgar Lungu’s directive to the Ministers of Finance and Mines to review the mining tax regime and make recommendations to Cabinet by 8th April, 2015.
He says Government, therefore, expects all mining companies to reciprocate its gesture on this matter.
Mr Kambwili says Government appeals to Kansanshi mine to reinstate the 93 workers as the right procedure has not been followed.
He has reiterated that Government’s commitment to creating a favourable environment for both local and private investments to flourish, but that this should be done within the country’s laws and regulations.