ACCORDING to some anonymous source, ‘patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting’.
Indeed, a lot of people can wait but not all can keep good attitude while waiting, which is critical.
In the past we called for patience on the issues surrounding the future of Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) and Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) but now we are calling on stakeholders to keep their good attitude while waiting for the government to resolve them.
From where we stand, the country has come far and the ‘Promised Land’ on this issue is much nearer than that.
This is because the KCM and MCM situation has been a gigantic issue which required people to face it with sober minds and calm spirit to avoid hastily handling the matter.
The miners, their mineworkers’ unions, the suppliers, the contractors, creditors and indeed other key stakeholders should exercise patience with good attitude, because the Government is on top of things.
There is need to give the current government sufficient room in which to operate and negotiate with the potential investors in the best interest of the nation.
This is more so in that the issue of both KCM and MCM was inherited by the current government administration, which has, however, shown a lot of political will to address once for all.
Need we remind the stakeholders, some of who fully supported the previous administration’s move, that the government then put the nation where it is today on the issue of KCM!
Indeed, in 2019, the Government decided to institute a liquidation process of KCM contrary to advice from various stakeholders to use a different route if they indeed wanted to address the matter.
The liquidation route from the start seemed to have been a challenging one and time wasting, hence where the country is today.
Similarly, the MCM issue started when Glencore, the majority shareholder, decided to place the mine on the care and maintenance which did not go well with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) then.
One year before the 2021 general elections, the PF administration was desperate to get re-elected and decided to get into a share buyout that complicated matters.
A bad deal was cut through a transaction resulting into of US$1.5billion while the Zambian government retained 100 per cent shareholding through ZCCM-Investment Holding.
We are aware that the administration then deliberately agreed to some terms and conditions which were at best counter to national interest and that could have contributed to the current scenario.
The ‘New Dawn’ government administration has had to contend with many complicated matters to try and unlock the opportunities in these mining units.
With four potential investors for Mopani already shortlisted, the process is almost complete in readiness to revamp operations at the mine.
Similarly for KCM, according to Mines and Mineral Development Minister Paul Kabuswe, 90 per cent of the issues have so far been resolved hence the need for the people to keep their good attitude as they exercise patience on the matter.