Dr Mathias Mpande
Vedanta Resources Plc this year committed a Business Improvement Plan (BIP) to the Ministry of Mines in a bid to revitalise its operations at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
Mines minister, Christopher Yaluma said Vedanta had already settled about US$100 million at the time of their meeting with the government in February 2014, and that several other commitments were also being met.
Yaluma also said the government would have quarterly meetings with Vedanta to report how much they had achieved against the plan.
His deputy, Richard Musukwa, however, admitted earlier this week that he was unaware of the BIP.
But Dr Mpande, who is a mineral economist and former dean of the School of Mines at the University of Zambia, said he was cautious of the BIP and insisted Vedanta had to act if the country was going to believe they were serious about improving KCM’s operations.
“If people have cheated you before, the only way you can assume they will do something is when they start doing what is right. And it doesn’t mean because they have promised they are going to do something, they are exonerated; they have to pay the price!” These are cheating our country and they are asking Zambians to forget the past and that is not good,” said Dr Mpande.