The Lusaka High Court has stayed the powers of the Konkola Copper Mine’s provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu to sell assets or to make arrangements with creditors.
While in Mozambique last week, President Edgar Lungu announced that within a month, government would have concluded talks with a new investor to takeover KCM assets and operations, a statement which was publicly condemned as prejudicial to the on-going court process.
On Monday this week, a State controlled newspaper, Zambia Daily Mail, quoted China Non-Ferrous Metals Group saying they were ready to takeover the mining giant which the government forcefully repossessed from parent owners Vedanta Resources Plc.
But High Court Judge Anessie Banda-Bobo has now granted an ex-parte order to stay the liquidator’s powers to sell or dispose KCM assets through public tender, or to make any arrangements with creditors.
Judge Banda-Bobo, however, set inter-parte hearing for July 4, this year.
“Upon hearing counsel for the contributor and upon reading the affidavit sworn by Hermien Uys filed herein, it is hereby ordered that the following powers of the Provisional Liquidator Mr Milingo Lungu, be and are hereby stayed pending the outcome of the hearing of the Winding-Up petition. (i) The power empowering the provisional liquidator to ‘make any compromises or arrangements with creditors’. (ii) To make any agreement on all questions in any way relating to or affecting the company or its assets. (iii) To dispose of assets by pubic tender or the most transparent manner under the circumstances and (iv) sell the real and personal property and things in action of the Respondent by public auction, public tender or private contract,” read the order.
In this matter, ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC is seeking an order to have KCM liquidated.
In May this year, Judge Banda-Bobo granted ZCCM-IH an order to appoint Milingo Lungu of Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company as provisional liquidator of KCM.
Justice Banda-Bobo signed the order, granting the liquidator the following powers: carry on the business of KCM so far as is necessary for the beneficial winding up, make any compromises or arrangements with creditors, make any agreement on all questions in any way relating to or affecting the company or its assets and take possession, custody and control all the assets of the Respondent.
Lungu was further granted powers to bring or defend any action or other legal proceedings in the name and or on behalf of the Respondent, dispose assets by pubic tender or the most transparent manner under the circumstances and sell the real and personal property and things in action of the Respondent by public auction, public tender or private contract.