By Francis Kope(Social and Economic Commentator)
It is now more than 60 days after the Patriotic Front took over the operations of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and up to now the nation has not been informed whether it is making profit or loss after the takeover.
The Mines work on production and targets at the backdrop of cost per day as was revealed during the Mwanawasa regime that it was costing government one million US Dollars ($1,000,000) to run KCM per day.
If such a huge expense was the case years back in running a mine, with the current inflationary pressures and other related costs going, we do not need a rocket scientist to know that it is more costly to run a mine today in comparison to ten years ago.
We are appealing to the PF led government to inform the nation on how much it is costing government to run KCM at the moment.
What profit has the country culminated in the past 65 days?
If government is spending more on maintenance of KCM than what is being realised (which is likely to be the case looking at how silent PF has been on the mine’s monetary state).
Then Patriotic Front is worse off and more with infidelity than Vedanta resources of India itself.
We have a situation where costs have increased but the mine is not producing looking at court cases that have continued.
The liquidator and his team are also another cost to KCM.
Anyway it might not even be termed KCM at the moment as the liquidator is waiting to do his work so let’s just call it assets as the company ceases be in existence once the process commences.
The contract between Zambian government represented by ZCCM-IH and Vedanta resources gives a clear guidance that disputes should be dealt with through arbitration process.
When you fail the arbitration process then you go to court.
But our beloved PF government is behaving like they know everything including the out come of the court process.
Otherwise if you jump the gun you end up being hit by the bullet.
We are going back to a process where the Zambian government lost a case with Lamp Green Company of Libya.
We will pay handsomely to Libya; had there been stability we would have been paying through our nose by now.
And that is, more dollars going out from our economy which is ailing with huge debt.
It is sad that there are people in government who are making political decision in a business environment.
This has caused a huge loss to the country and the majority Zambians continue to wallow in abject poverty.
We know that someone is benefiting out of all this KCM saga.
Vendanta must go but government should stop making political decisions in a business environment for this is a serious indictment on PF.