By RABECCA CHIPANTA –
LUANSHYA Mayor Nathan Chanda says he is disappointed with some people bent on trying to politicise the workers’ recruitment process at Baluba Mine.
Baluba Mine was placed under care and maintenance in 2015, and its reopening will see employment of a good number of people.
Reopening of the mine will improve the livelihood of Zambians, particularly Luanshya residents, who have encountered serious economic challenges after the mine was closed.
Mr Chanda has, however, thanked the former miners, unions, churches, residents, management of Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) and other stakeholders for the support, patience and peaceful conduct exhibited during the negotiation period of the re-opening the mine.
He has called on the ex-miners and those seeking employment to maintain the same spirit during the selection process by the contractor engaged by LCM to run Baluba Mine.
He said the mine’s closure saw workers being sent on forced leave following the low copper prices on the international market.
Mr Chanda said LCM was going to recall all those who were sent on forced leave and did not opt to go on voluntary separation at the time the mine was placed under care and maintenance, while the contractor, JCHX, would do the mining.
He said interviews for the jobs were not being held at his house and that no list from outside or wherever had been submitted to the contractor as propagated by some politicians.
Mr Chanda thanked President Edgar Lungu for his efforts while his office had been consistently engaging and negotiating with LCM for over two years to have Baluba Mine re-opened.
“The efforts have finally paid off. Any external frustrations to cause confusion by some individuals are not progressive for the town,” he said.
He called on residents not to allow themselves to be used by selfish individuals who wanted to politicise a sensitive matter and frustrate the efforts of the Government by tampering with the livelihood of residents on an issue that was critical for Luanshya’s economy as a whole.
Mr Chanda said the contractor had assured the people of Luanshya that the employment procedure that had been laid down would be transparent and give equal opportunity to every applicant through interviews for all before the selection.
District Commissioner Joel Chibuye urged all the applicants to be patient and give the contractor ample time to finalise the selection process which will be done in phases as Baluba mine becomes operational.