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Kalumbila job cut plans sadden MUZ, elders

BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Solwezi & HONE SIAME, Kitwe
THE North-Western Development Council of Elders says it is disturbed by the decision by Kalumbila Minerals Limited to lay off workers at its Trident Mine because of the restriction of electricity supply by Zesco Limited.
Kalumbila Mine will lay off over 700 miners because of inadequate electricity supply to its Sentinel plant, a situation that has saddened miners’ representatives.
Council of Elders chairperson Lucas Chikoti said in Solwezi yesterday that Government must quickly come in and dialogue with the mine’s management to ensure the miners’ jobs are secured.
Mr Chikoti also appealed to the government to expedite the construction of a power line from Lusaka to Kalumbila Mine to ensure the mine has enough electricity to sustain its operations.
“We appeal to the government to come in and ensure that these people are connected to the national grid as soon as possible so that our people are not laid off,” he said.
“The number of people who are not employed will be quite a big number and that will be very unfortunate when in actual fact, we are saying in North-Western Province, the mines are doing very fine,” he said.
Mr Chikoti said the mines are ready to keep the workers if there is enough electricity,” he said.
Kalumbila Mine has given notice that it will lay off over 700 miners because of the energy crisis.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) general secretary Joseph Chewe said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that the mining firm has formally informed the workers’ representatives of the impending job losses.
Mr Chewe said the firm has indicated that the decision to lay off the workers has been necessitated by the reduction by Zesco Limited of power supply to the mine from 150 to 70 megawatts.
He said Kalumbila Mine has indicated in its letter that it has become inevitable to reduce its workforce for it to remain viable.
Mr Chewe said the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has also been informed about the matter.
Mr Chewe said the labour movement in the mining sector is saddened by the loss of jobs in the mining sector.


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