The Patriotic Front government is not scared to meet people on the Copperbelt and explain to them Government’s programmes, Local Government Minister Steven Kampyongo has said.
Mr. Kampyongo said it was shocking and inhuman for politicians to celebrate the loss of employment by miners on the Copperbelt.
He said the loss of jobs as a result of mine closures the nation was experiencing due to mainly low prices at the London metal exchange was unavoidable.
“Certainly job losses on the Copperbelt are a serious concern for everyone but it must be noted that these are unavoidable circumstances.
As you know copper is extracted by mines for sale at the international market where Zambia cannot dictate prices,” said Mr. Kampyongo.
He said it was therefore not prudent for anyone to trivialize the situation on the Copperbelt and come out as if they have solutions when in fact not.
“So these are challenges that should not be trivialized or politicized by anyone, there are countries that are going through difficulties and governments have been there to provide solutions just like our Government has been there to ensure that some jobs are protected.
‘‘Without the intervention of Government and President Lungu in particular, the country would have experienced more misery than what was at stake now,” said Mr. Kampyongo.
He said using the crisis on the Copperbelt as the reason why the PF should leave Government was not justifiable because the problem did not emanate from failure by the PF to protect jobs but a global business and economic phenomenon.
Mr. Kampyongo said even the United States President Barak Obama had the most difficult challenge three years ago but people believed in him and still voted him back into office.
“It is not for us being worried, we shall explain to the people and will assure them just like a parent assures his children by giving them hope that things will be better, it is just a matter of time.
‘‘The PF shares the anguish with the affected workers on the Copperbelt and we are there to offer solutions,’’ adding that the situation on the Copperbelt was not permanent.
He said people should not despair because the PF government would soon re-create the lost jobs in the mines.
“Those jobs would be recreated soon. It is disheartening to see politicians today politicize and wanting to gain mileage out of the crisis the nation was facing without realizing the impact,” he said.
He appealed to people on the Copperbelt to remain calm because the PF government has not gone to sleep but looking at ways they could make amends over what happened in the region.