Opposition Zambia Wake-Up Party (ZAWAPA) leader, Howard Kunda, has expressed his concerns regarding the Zambian Government’s decision to return Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to Indian investor Vedanta.
During a media briefing held in Ndola, Mr. Kunda raised questions about Vedanta’s past management of KCM, citing neglect of miners, contractors, and suppliers. He argued that the Government should not have handed KCM back to Vedanta when Zambia has the capability to run its mines.
Mr. Kunda referenced the public demand, particularly from the people of Chingola and Zambia as a whole, to remove Vedanta from KCM due to alleged non-payment to suppliers and what was perceived as the company’s exploitation of the mine’s resources.
Vedanta has pledged to inject $1 billion into KCM over the next five years as part of its commitment to revitalizing the operations.
Mr. Kunda further questioned why Vedanta was allowed to retake control of KCM when, according to him, the company had previously failed to manage the mine and fulfill its promises to the Zambian people.
He emphasized President Hakainde Hichilema’s previous stance on Vedanta and foreign investors, in which he expressed mistrust in Vedanta’s ability to honor its obligations. Mr. Kunda called for clarity on why the government’s position had seemingly shifted since President Hichilema assumed office.
Additionally, Mr. Kunda urged the government to focus on enhancing food security in Zambia, as access to food has become a significant challenge for many citizens, exacerbated by high prices of mealie meal, fuel, and electricity.