MINING INDUSTRY STILL BRIGHT-LUNGU

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said the future of the mining sector in Zambia was still bright despite the plummeted copper prices on the global market.

And President Lungu has written off the purported Democratic Front (DF) leader Miles Sampa as a non-factor in the country’s political atmosphere.

President Lungu said Government and the mining sector would continue to dialogue over the challenges the mining sector was facing but assured that the future of the mining sector was still promising.

President Lungu has again spoken strongly against violence in the country and warned that often times violence begets violence and only messages of love would be able to build and unite Zambia.

President Lungu said he would continue giving Zambians his leadership and that political parties that were using violence as their campaign tool would suffer the wrath of the electorate in August general elections.

Speaking to journalists shortly before departure for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the African Union summit, President Lungu said he would continue preaching against violence and other vices because Zambians needed to hear what leaders were offering rather than vulgar and unpalatable political language.

Asked to comment on whether Mr Sampa had formally written to him (President Lungu) about his resignation from the Patriotic Front, the Head of State responded: “Who is Miles Sampa?” and laughed.

“The future of the mining sector is still bright despite the collapsed copper prices and we have been talking to the mines about the challenges the sector is facing,” President Lungu said.

Meanwhile, the PF says it has unearthed a scheme in which the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has started to psyche its members to violently reject the outcome of the August tripartite elections on allegations that the elections would be rigged.

PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya said the violence that erupted in Choma over which 21 UPND cadres were arrested on Wednesday ‘‘should be understood as a dress rehearsal’’ by the opposition political party allegedly planning to cause violence and mayhem after losing the general elections. Fr Bwalya said the PF was calling on the police and other State investigative wings not to take the Choma violence as an isolated incident because the opposition political party had allegedly resolved to cause violence so that the country could become ungovernable.

He said the cadres who caused violence in Choma were forcing people to raise the UPND symbol and that those who refused were severely beaten.

Fr Bwalya stated that the PF was appealing to its general membership not to fall into the trap of responding to the alleged UPND violence but that they should emulate the spirit of President Lungu who had continued denouncing violence and intimidation.

“We have come to learn that the alleged allegations that the August general elections will be rigged are meant to psyche their members to resort to violence and mayhem after losing the elections.

‘‘What Zambians saw in Choma should be understood as a dress rehearsal but we call upon the police and other State investigative wings not to take the Choma violence as an isolated incidence. We are also calling on our general membership in the PF guided by our peace-loving and humble President never to fall into the trap of responding the UPND violence,” Fr Bwalya said. He said it was sad that the UPND could imagine that it could stop the people of Southern Province from voting or supporting the PF government that had distinguished itself as a decent and working government.

Fr Bwalya said the PF was hopeful that President Lungu would consider travelling to Choma to offer sympathy to the families of those who were injured in the violence.

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