GOVERNMENT has called on Mopani Copper Mines to avoid any actions that may lead to job losses following a standoff with Copperbelt Energy Corporation-CEC over revised electricity tariffs.

Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma says government seeks to create more jobs as opposed to laying off workers.

He says there is need for a solution that should not affect workers.

Mr. Yaluma told ZNBC News in Kasama that Mopani should emulate other Mining firms that have already committed to and are paying the revised electricity tariffs.

He has told ZNBC news that Mopani and CEC should resolve their problems without affecting miners.

Meanwhile, an injunction which was granted to Mopani against CEC’s restriction of power to the mining firm has been discharged by the Kitwe High Court.

Kitwe High Court Judge Timothy Katanekwa discharged the initial injunction granted last week due to irregularities.

Judge Katanekwa says CEC and Mopani have a Power Supply Agreement that provides for arbitration in case of a dispute.

The discharge comes after ZESCO’s recent application to the High Court to dismiss the injunction.

ZESCO contended that the ex-parte summons and the affidavit in support were issued pursuant to order 27, rule one as opposed to order 27 rule number four that deals with breaches of contract.

In this matter, ZESCO had argued that Mopani had already taken steps to commence contempt proceedings against its Managing Director on the defective ex-parte order.

The court had initially granted MCM leave to apply for a committal order for ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende and CEC Managing Director Owen Silavwe and Chief Operations Officer Christopher Nthala.

Later, CEC asked the Kitwe High Court to stay the outgoing proceedings between the firm and MCM and allow the matter to be referred for arbitration.

In this matter, Mopani Copper Mines had sued CEC and ZESCO Limited as first and second defendants respectively for restricting power supply to the mining firm.

CEC and Mopani Copper Mines have since gone for arbitration over the tariff dispute.

The restriction of power to Mopani Copper Mines from the required 1-hundred and 30 megawatts to 94 megawatts has now entered day 12.

Just yesterday, Mopani Copper Mines Public Relations Manager Nebert Mulenga announced that over four thousand workers may lose their jobs as the firm continues to scale down its operations.

But CEC Senior Manager for Corporate Communications Chama Nsabika says the company is still committed to resolving the matter through dialogue.


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