KCM ‘planning’ to surrender liabilities to govt.-Scott

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Vice President Guy Scott has intimated that Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is ‘scheming’ to hand over liabilities to government.

Dr. Scott disclosed in parliament today that US$1.5 billion worthy of liabilities is at risk at the mining giant, KCM.

Dr. Scott is however saddened that huge sums of money were allegedly being externalised by the mining company.

He was responding to PF Bwacha Member of Parliament (MP) Sydney Chisanga who wanted to find out what government was doing to address the challenges faced by workers at KCM and an update on the status of KCM workers.

The Vice President said the KCM owed some banks a lot of money.

This was during the 30-minute Vice President’s question time.

Dr. Scott has since urged KCM management to put its house in order because the situation which is obtaining at the mine might affect the economic progress of the country.

Dr. Scott, who is also PF Lusaka Central MP, said there were a lot of strange things happening at the mine which government and parliamentarians should be careful with.

He said relevant authorities were monitoring the developments at KCM.

Last year, government demanded for a detailed technical report from KCM to give proper reasons why it intended to lay off over 1,500 workers.

However, KCM retrenched over 70 workers despite government’s threats to revoke its operating license last year.

Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda however stressed government made an appeal to KCM management that it was ready to help the company to put things in order.

And Dr. Scott has clarified that the establishment of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) was not an imitation of INDECO which existed during the reign of first President, Kenneth Kaunda.

Dr. Scott disclosed in parliament today that IDC would act as a regulator where necessary data could be captured by government.

He implored private companies to take advantage of the IDC in developing the country’s economy.

The Vice President was responding to a question raised by PF Chipili Member of Parliament (MP) Davies Mwila who wanted to find out what government would achieve from establishing the IDC.

He said national growth would also be achieved through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Recently, President Michael Sata explained plans to create the IDC saying it would be a tool for the modernization and diversification of the economy in order to create jobs, wealth and prosperity for the Zambian people.

The Head of State said the IDC shall also boost the contribution of state owned enterprises to national development by placing them under one umbrella holding entity to deepen their reform, enhance efficiency and maximize returns besides creating jobs for the people.

In another development, Dr. Scott said the opposition MPs currently serving as deputy ministers in the PF government were authorised to serve in government by their respective political parties.

Dr. Scott said government appreciates the services of the deputy ministers as no attempts have been advanced to expel them from their parties.

But Monze Central UPND MP Jack Mwiimbu reacted sharply at the sentiments by the Vice President and said the deputy ministers were serving in the PF government at their own peril.

On security, the Vice President said the police officers currently stationed at paramount chief Chitimukulu’s palace in Kasama were monitoring the situation.

Dr. Scott said paramount chief Chitimukulu Henry Sosola was at risk hence the decision by the state to protect.