ZCCM-IH lawyers Messrs Shamwana and Company have asked the Lusaka High Court to set aside Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited’s notice of intention to appear at the petition hearing.
And ZCCM-IH has further asked the Court to discharge with costs an order to stay some powers granted to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)’s provisional liquidator, Milingo Lungu, for being irregular.
In this matter, ZCCM-IH is seeking an order that KCM should be wound-up for engaging in tax evasion and being managed in a manner detrimental to the interest of government, among others.
In May this year, High Court judge Anessie Banda-Bobo granted ZCCM-IH an order to appoint Lungu of Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company as provisional liquidator of KCM.
Later, Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited, a majority shareholder in KCM, applied to be joined to the winding-up matter but the application was dismissed for using a wrong mode of action.
However, Vedanta later filed a notice of intention to be heard.
And on Wednesday, judge Banda-Bobo granted Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited an order staying some of Lungu’s powers as a Provisional Liquidator, among them those of making any compromises or arrangements with creditors, disposing of assets by public tender or selling them, pending the outcome of the Winding-Up Petition.
It was further ordered that inter-parte hearing will be on July 4, 2019, at 10:00 hours.
“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.
However, ZCCM-IH has asked the court to discharge the order to stay some of Lungu’s powers, saying the act of applying and obtaining an ex parte order to stay some of the provisional liquidator’s influence was irregular and should be discharged.
ZCCM-IH has further asked the court to set aside Vedanta’s notice of intention to appear at the petition hearing, arguing that the it was not only defective but improperly before court because the manner it was done was not tenable at law.
It argued that by joining itself as a party to the proceedings as ‘contributor’, Vedanta had acted in disregard of the court ruling on joinder.
“By joining itself as a party to the proceedings as ‘contributor’, we submit that Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited has acted in disregard of the court ruling dated June 20, 2019. If at all Vedanta were dissatisfied with the said ruling in so far as joinder is concerned, we see no reason as to why Vedanta disregarded to exercise its right of appeal,” ZCCM-IH submitted.
ZCCM-IH argued that although Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited may be the majority shareholder in KCM, it had no greater rights over other interested persons who equally had the right to file notice of intention to appear on petition and to be heard.
The matter comes up on July 4, 2019.