Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya on Friday had an interview with The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, where she dispelled media reports that the Zambian Government has sold Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to the Chinese.
And the Minister also took time to tour the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was later interviewed by BBC Focus on Africa TV and Radio where she firmly said the Zambian Government condemns attacks on the media and called on Zambian journalists to operate professionally as they had a duty to the masses.
During an interview with Rob Davis of The Guardian, Siliya, the information and broadcasting services minister, clarified that the relationship between the Zambian Government and Vedanta Resources that owned 79 per cent shareholding in KCM is not desirous.
She said the government’s ultimate goal is to look for a new partner that shares the vision of the country.
“…a partner who wants to share the proceeds of the investment as mines are assets belonging to the people of Zambia. In Business, you reach a point where there is loss of trust and you can’t move forward anymore. We want this matter between ZCCM-IH and KCM to be resolved so that we find another partner. We have received a lot of interests from Turkish, Russian and Chinese companies who have been visiting the mines as part of their due diligence,” Siliya said according to a statement issued by first secretary press at the Zambian mission in London, Abigail Chaponda.
And at the BBC, the Minister said diverse views through the media were welcome in Zambia and encouraged all public media to give coverage to everyone.
Siliya said it is always unfortunate to hear that journalists do not feel safe to cover events.
She also said female journalists should be the first ones to feel safe in Zambia because Zambia is a peaceful country.
Siliya said Zambia recognised the importance that Journalists played in a democracy.
“My word of encouragement to the media has always been: be Journalists, be professional, do not fall in a trap of being seen as unprofessional,” she said.
Siliya and Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji were in the United Kingdom to attend the Global Media Freedom Conference and the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs meeting respectively.
News source: Zambia Reports