Monday, November 01, 2010
By Ernest Chanda
Mon 01 Nov. 2010, 04:01 CAT
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata has observed that compensating Sinazongwe shooting victims before concluding the court process is tantamount to rigging justice.
Reacting to labour minister Austin Liato's statement that all victims in the Collum Coal Mine shooting will be compensated, Sata said the action would undermine the judiciary since the offence was criminal in nature and still in court.
He said the government should not defend managers who shot the miners by what he termed compensation in form of bribery.
“First of all, this means that they sent Vice-President George Kunda to China to go and advocate for those compensations. George Kunda just told the Chinese government that if you compensate these miners, then that's it, there will be no prosecution. Now, this is clear rigging of justice which is happening right under our noses,” Sata said.
“Rupiah Banda is trying to protect the Chinese at the expense of his own people. And he sent his boy George Kunda to China to trade those miners' dignity with MMD campaign funds from the Chinese. Shooting is a criminal offence. And the case is still active in court, so why is Liato talking about compensation now? Why not leave that to the courts to determine?”
Sata compared President Rupiah Banda to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his master.
“The people of Zambia are Rupiah Banda's masters, and he is supposed to be defending them. But because he loves money like Judas, he has sold his own people in exchange for Chinese money. This explains why Rupiah Banda has never condemned the Chinese managers who shot those miners in Sinazongwe; he has been quiet about it. This is pure corruption and bribery,” said Sata.
Addressing the media on Friday, Liato said the committee the government set up to look into the shooting incident and conditions of service for workers at the mine would conclude its work by the end of this week.
Liato said the public would also be informed about the results of the committee’s work.
And speaking through an interpreter, director of the coal mine Xu Jian Ling said his company would compensate the victims according to Zambian labour laws.
Xu also pledged to render more and necessary help to the victims when need arose.