By Michael Kaluba
Social and Political Anthropologist Dr. James Musonda has described the recent week-long presidential visit to the Copperbelt as uninspiring saying there was nothing new from President Hakainde Hichilema over the fate of Zambia’s mining sector.
Dr. Musonda says talk about unlocking Mopani Copper Mines and Konkola Copper Mines –KCM- are now odd and that stakeholders do not want to hear such sentiments in the absence of proper direction on the future of the two assets.
He says it is surprising that the head of state has still failed to disclose how much money has been sourced to invest in Mopani, the source of the funding which he announced over a month ago, and the conditions attached to this funding and spent most of his time in the province on political rhetoric.
The Social and Political Anthropologist is of the view that mere assurances made to the Zambian people so far without addressing the existing challenges at the two mines, are not enough and only worsen the anxieties of the Copperbelt population who are facing harsh standards of living.
He wonders why the government seems reluctant over KCM and Mopani with President Hakainde Hichilema’s sentiments over the mines consistent with the lack of planning within the national budget towards recapitalizing the assets while the only pronouncements so far, are that the government will create an enabling environment for investors.