Friday, July 06, 2007

LETTERS - Chinese Miners, ZESCO

Magande and Chinese investors
By Concerned Zambian
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

I was disgusted by finance minister Ngandu Magande’s statement on Chinese investors in Zambia. During a BBC programme on the Chinese investors in Zambia exploiting our people (miners), a Chinese manager when asked denied that anything of that sort was taking place.

One of the miners said they were forced to work under dangerous conditions and their pay was pathetic. When Magande was interviewed he said he had no idea such things were happening in Zambia. I wondered whether he was deaf and blind or he was just playing with our minds!

The so-called Chinese investors are exploiting our brothers for very little money and yet the government says they don’t know.

My brother was a victim of the disaster that happened at Chambishi Mine so I know that such exploitation is going on under the government’s nose.

I am really disgusted by the finance minister’s statement. I stand to be corrected if I heard him wrong but, if that’s what he said, he should not be selfish over the interests of his fellow citizens.

Zesco services
By George Mwale,PHI resident
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

I wish to register my disappointment over the so-called Zesco services. I've been staying in Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) area in Chainama for over three years now and the problem we've had is that of having blackouts and power outages almost on a daily basis.

Complaints have been lodged in and nothing seems to be working. All that we get when we call the customer services is that "our engineers are on the ground sorting out the problem".
For how long?

These blackouts and power outages happen at awkward times when a meal is being prepared. Is it that load shedding was only meant for PHI in Chainama? As a resident I have had my electrical appliances and perisheable goods damaged. The probability of being compensated by Zesco is zero.

Can we phase out the Sisala administration because it has failed us as consumers. Twanaka (we've had enough) of these poor services.

I wish there was another electricty company especially here in Lusaka just like mobile telephone providers. I believe a lot of consumers like me would have switched to a better service provider.

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At 7:28 PM , Blogger MrK said...

It is the government, over and over again. Yes, the Chinese can be pricks, yes, they treat workers like dogs, yes, the mining conditions are horrible.

But the little secret is: this is how they do business in China. The country that brought the world the Human Wave to fight massed armour, the '5 year plan' that killed millions, the country that has *the worst record on mining accidents in the world*, is doing business as usual in Zambia and Africa.

But here is another little secret. They are not in China. They are not under the jurisdiction of the Chinese ministry of the mines. They are in Zambia, which means that Zambian labour laws, and international labour laws apply.

So who is not applying the law? Who is not protecting Zambian workers, and doing inspections? Or demanding real wages, let alone profit sharing or other forms of compensation?

That is an issue for the Zambian government, and if the legislation is not enough, it becomes the business of parliament. If MMD MPs refuse to vote for stronger legislation, name them and shame them, and vote them out of office at the next election. If they don't do what you want, vote for any other party, even if you don't agree with that particular party.

But be responsive to the government's action or inaction. In the end, policy is made by the people, through their representatives, but they are still their representatives.


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