Friday, November 23, 2007

Nchanga residents live below poverty datum line - Simuusa

Nchanga residents live below poverty datum line - Simuusa
By Lambwe Kachali
Friday November 23, 2007 [03:00]

NCHANGA member of parliament Wilbur Simuusa has said it is disappointing on the part of government to see the disparity between the mineral resources the country has and the low standard of living of the people. Delivering his maiden speech to Parliament on Wednesday, Simuusa said the people of Nchanga in particular were not happy with the current government due to the high poverty levels in the constituency. Simuusa said despite the constituency being the largest producer of copper and cobalt in the country, people were still living below the poverty datum line.

“You may be aware that my constituency hosts the largest copper and cobalt mines in the country and largest contributor to the national economy, it is very sad to note that this does not reflect in the status of people in my constituency,” Simuusa said. “Additionally, there is a boom in metal markets, especially copper and cobalt.

Metal prices have been the highest in more than twenty years. However, a laughable small trace of this boom is visible to the workers and citizens of Chingola.”

He said in the Second Republic, most Zambians managed to attain their highest education through sponsorship from the mining sector.
“I am a product of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) by the Kaunda government who were so selfless and visionary,” Simuusa said.

Simuusa said it was a shame that qualified Zambian mine workers could be superseded by foreign workers who were less qualified and experienced.

“We should not allow our professionals and workers to be treated as second hand citizens in our own country,” Simuusa said. He also urged the government to revisit the labour laws of the country.
“In particular, on the careless recruitment of unqualified people by our so-called investors,” he said.

Simuusa also thanked his predecessor Charles Chimumbwa for vacating the seat, thus creating an opportunity for him to become a member of parliament.



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