COPPERBELT UPND provincial chairman Elisha Matambo says the PF has killed the province and should not expect any votes from there.
Matambo said yesterday that most towns on the Copperbelt were quiet with very little activity taking place, while many houses looked like they were unoccupied.
“Very few people on the Copperbelt are happy because they cannot afford food or pay rentals for their families. Life is tough here and ba PF they are going round to convince our friends in other mining towns on the Copperbelt that the current job losses in the mines are global and normal. People are going through hardships; people are failing to pay rentals; they are failing to buy food and they are depressed already and they are still subjected to political lies. That is not fair,” Matambo said.
“All their plans are shattered; the situation is very bad and people don’t know what tomorrow holds for them under this PF regime. PF has killed Copperbelt Province. It will be very hard for them to get votes from the people here. Everyone is frustrated.”
He said following the continuous job losses on the Copperbelt, business houses were also struggling to survive as only a few people could afford to buy essential commodities.
“It is not only the retrenched miners who are affected; shopowners are crying foul. Very few people are buying things; the majority of us have our purchasing power reduced to an extent that we rarely go shopping. Shopping is now for the elite, not a common Zambian from our compounds,” Matambo said.
“When you hear that 1,000 miners from Luanshya mines, 2,000 from Mopani, 1,500 from KCM or 1,000 from Chambeshi have been retrenched, it is more than that. People here have lost jobs and families have been shaken. There are over 20,000 people who have lost their jobs on the Copperbelt. Every home you go to is like it is under care and maintenance, just waiting for when things will be fine and this is a result of bad administration by the PF.”
He said the population of unemployed people on the Copperbelt had increased drastically.
“In addition to the number of people who have lost their jobs through retrenchments, there are others who have lost their contracts and they were also employing other people. And we can’t forget the population of those that were not employed, so the majority of people on the Copperbelt are out of the labour force,” said Matambo.