Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MUZ calls for protection of national resources
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Mon 15 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

MINEWORKERS Union of Zambia (MUZ) says there is need to protect the country's national resources from being looted again by putting up a spirited fight against corruption.

In an interview, MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said the union's resolve was to support the government on its firm stance against corruption because it was the only way the country would see meaningful development in all sectors.

Chishimba said the fight against corruption must be encouraged by all well-meaning Zambians especially those in the mining sector which is the backbone of the country's economy.

"We should take a position as a country that never again should we ever allow national resources to be consumed by a few greedy individuals like it happened in the past regime. Corruption has taken a lot from the poor and we should seal all loopholes if this country is to move forward. Leaders at every level of governance, private sector and all institutions including the unions should never be involved in corrupt activities if this country is to make headways in terms f development," Chishimba said.

"We therefore condemn in the strongest terms whoever is obstructing and frustrating the various processes meant to bring down corruption in our great nation. MUZ has however noted with pleasure development strides being taken so far by the PF government especially in the road infrastructure like the Link Zambia 8000 and Pave Zambia 2000. We want to encourage the government to run the full course on roads development because roads are a very key strategy point towards meaningful development."

Meanwhile, Chishimba said the union was extremely disappointed that foreign investors in the mining sector always opt to lay off workers whenever they face production challenges.

He said foreign mine investors must have competent personnel in their management system that would be able to endure hard times and protect the labour force.

"Employment creation in this country should not be a hoax. We need to see sustainability but if we see people getting employed and in few months a mining company starts threatening mass lay-offs then there is poor planning and not only poor planning but questionable setting up of investments because if all the homework is done properly, following all the channels, we cannot find ourselves in a situation where other authorities are questioning the stay of companies or investment," Chishimba said.

He said the union had since engaged all transnational mining companies to find ways of cushioning production and operational challenges rather than rushing to lay off workers which had become a common trend.

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