Don’t slow down, MUZ tells State

Nkole Chishimba.

THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has urged Government to step up its efforts to diversify the Zambian economy despite the good

performance of copper prices on the international market.
MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said in an interview yesterday that there is a tendency to only amplify the economic diversification agenda when there is a drop in the prices of copper on the international market.
“But what we are saying is that although the prices of copper are doing quite well on the international market, let us not shelve the diversification agenda because these prices can rise and fall at any time,” Mr Chishimba said.
He said Government should also encourage more people to participate in various economic activities such as agriculture in line with its economic diversification programme to create wealth and more jobs.
“Without adequate sensitisation, it is sometimes difficult for the ordinary people to buy into the vision of Government. That is why they should continue sensitising the citizenry about the importance of economic diversification because this is the only way we are going to score sustainable development as a nation,” he said.
He said diversification within the mining sector should also be looked into seriously because other minerals equally have enormous potential to contribute to economic development just as much as copper does.
Mr Chishimba says mining companies should take advantage of the increase in prices of copper to increase their production volumes.
“For those production volumes to go up, they need more labour to help them produce. So mining companies should engage more labour to help them achieve high levels of production,” he said.
He said mining companies shed off their labour force two years ago owing to volatile power supply and low copper prices but that since the two factors have stabilised, there is need to get more people on board so as to increase production.
Copper prices on the international market are trading over US$6,000 per tonne.

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