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Saturday, 26 April 2008

Quote of the week (Charles Sambondu)

“This company gets houses in the high cost areas; say Riverside, and the best example is the house opposite the Civic Centre, where 67 people are being accommodated…This is just a three bedroom house…I summoned the management of Onshore and told them that on health grounds, this situation was unacceptable…I warned them of prosecution under the public health Act if they did not adhere to our directives…People in the neighbourhood have been complaining bitterly. These people are using those hospital pans to answer the call of nature and they dispose them in the drainages…”

- Charles Sambondu (The Post 24/04/2008)

Chingola Council town clerk Charles Sambondu explaining why Onshore Construction Limited, an Indian company, contracted by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to work on its smelter project in Chingola may face legal action following public health concerns involving its expatriate workers. His comments ignited a wave of comments from politicians, who are now asking why the Immigration Department agreed to issue temporary permits to the 'unskilled' Indian workers, at the expense of 'qualified' locals. Presumably the assumption being that if these were indeed "skilled workers" they would not agree to live under such poor health conditions. Not necessarily true of course, but such logic plays very well in peoples mind.

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