LUSAKA Province minister Bowman Lusambo has come under fire from ordinary citizens for suggesting that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is to blame for the looming jobs loses of over 2,000 miners on the Copperbelt.
Over 600 workers at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) are on the verge of losing jobs following the mine’s decision to halt operations at Mindola North and Central shafts in Kitwe while an additional 1,500 miners working for contractors are also likely to lose employment if the plan to close the two shafts is actualised.
Hichilema was on the Copperbelt to appreciate the matter over the weekend.
But Lusambo, who is also Kabushi PF member of parliament, said Hichilema was shading crocodile tears over the matter.
“It is interesting that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is in Ndola to offer what he claims are sympathies to the people of the Copperbelt on their plight. What I find interesting is that the gentleman offering these crocodile sympathies to the miners is the very one who played a central role in creating the situation that he now wants to sympathise over,” Lusambo wrote on his Facebook page.
The minister stated that he found it immoral for Hichilema to attempt to gain political capital over a situation he played a major role in creating.
Lusambo wrote, “On several occasions, Mr Hichilema has publicly admitted that he was a chief advisor to the Zambia Privatisation Agency over the privatisation of some key state assets including the mining companies on the Copperbelt and that he was paid handsomely for that service.”
He argued that anyone who followed public affairs knew that the genesis of the challenges on the Copperbelt could be traced to the privatisation era.
“So as Mr Hichilema moves around the Copperbelt to offer his so called sympathies over the same problems he created, I wish to ask him to keep his sympathies to himself,” he wrote.
The former MMD cadre advised people of the Copperbelt to dismiss and ignore Hichilema’s sympathies.
“There is also no point in blaming President Lungu who is working very hard to provide solutions especially that he wasn’t even near government when decisions to privatise the mines were made. President Lungu is working hard to ensure that the people of the Copperbelt benefit from the God-given resources. The Head of State is keen on implementing a tax system that ensures that there is a win-win situation between the foreign mine investors and the people in mining communities,” Lusambo stated.
He stated that the people on the Copperbelt did not need sympathies from those who dubiously sold the mines and amassed personal wealth.
“What the people in Luanshya, Kitwe, Chingola and Chililabombwe need are answers from such people. They want to know why the mines were sold in the manner they were sold and how much money did these people make for themselves,” Lusambo stated.
He stated that Hichilema would do well to start providing answers than offering dry sympathies.
“As a Lamba and son of the Copperbelt, I wish to remind Mr Hichilema that the Lambas are some of the most intelligent and tolerant people he will ever come across. This explains to a great extent why today Lambaland is the most cosmopolitan part of the country,” stated Lusambo. “The Lamba people will listen to Mr Hichilema’s sympathies but deep down their hearts, they will be saying that Bapuneme, tabakwetepo Kalango.”
But the posting attracted Lusambo scathing attacks from readers who came in defence of Hichilema.
Many urged Lusambo and the government to find a solution to the problems on the Copperbelt instead of blaming Hichilema.
Here are some of the comments
Great Honorable Minister come and read comments. People are saying you are dull, foolish and useless. Honorable Minister come here. The Great Leader of Kabushi😂
He had a boss who was directing him just like you have a boss who directs you to keep fit every morning. CB for change
Instead of talking of the solution you’re here busy advertising HH
#Limbikani Msamba Phiri
Every day I have to deal with the shame of having ministers of this caliber. Lord have mercy!
#Julius Hamatwi Lusambo
Mr Lusambo, you were part of the MMD who sold those mines.
#Brighton B. Banda
If you went to school you will realise the tender procedure, bidding, and how national assets are sold or bought. But I am not surprised you command illiterate fools who believes anything you say.
It was incumbent upon those Chiluba cabinet ministers from MMD, the party you benefited from to reject the valuation done by the employers of One Hakainde Hichilema
But as a government in power why can’t you nationalise the mines if you have the capacity to do so. Because as far as I’m concerned the mines were privatised in order to stabilise the economic crisis which the MMD government found when they came into power. Now since you see it to be a problem why don’t you also use another approach to development. Anyway I don’t blame you because I don’t know what level of education you have reached to understand everything that is going on all I know is that you are a minister.
Iwee Lusambo you think we don’t think like you?? Find the solution to the poverty you have brought in Zambia not those foolish things you are telling us.
I thought politics of name calling are long gone.
Find a solution for the miners not ati HH this, HH that, no!
How can we develop with such shallow mindsets? Let us learn to take responsibility instead of concentrating on HH. Let us reduce on borrowing and become more prudent in the use of use of hard earned resources.
#Mwango Chisala Fynn
Abantu balifulwa but!!!!!, just the comments say it all. My friend just go off Facebook for some time.
#Francis Musamba Nkoma
This guy! How can HH working for a private company where he wasn’t even the boss spearhead privatisation of state assets? Bowman have some sense! What’s scaring is that people of your calibre are in Parliament making laws! This country is doomed!
If you’ve failed to work on the economy don’t accuse Mr HH. Just sit down and shut your big mouth ala iwe
Where was MMD government when HH who was not a civil servant and very young to sell the mines? We are not dull.