Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited has asked the Lusaka High Court to be joined in the matter in which ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC is seeking an order to have Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) liquidated.
Vedanta says if not joined to the proceedings, it stands to suffer great prejudice as it has over 79 percent shares in Konkola Copper Mines PLC.
On Tuesday, Lusaka High Court Judge Anessie 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, among other powers.”
ZCCM-IH had told the Court that since Konkola Copper Mines began operations, it had only paid US$58 million dividends to government and it had been involved in tax evasion schemes.
In this matter; ZCCM-IH is the petitioner where as KCM, respondent.
But in ex-parte summons for an order for joinder of a party to the proceedings filed in the Lusaka High Court, Wednesday, Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited wants to be joined as second respondent.
And in an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons, Vedanta’s representative, Hermien Uys of Stellenboach in South Africa, explained that ZCCM-IH and Vedanta were shareholders in the mining company holding 20.6 percent and 79.4 percent shares, respectively.
Uys further stated that he was aware that Lungu had since assumed the responsibility of a provisional liquidator and had demanded that some personnel in KCM’s senior management should prepare handover notes for him.
“On May 21, the petitioner filed a petition, seeking an order to wind up the respondent and this court appointed one Mr Milingo Lungu to be a provisional liquidator for the respondent. Following the aforesaid appointment as provisional liquidator, I’m aware that Mr Milingo Lungu has since assumed the responsibility of a provisional liquidator and has demanded that some personnel in the respondent’s senior management should prepare handover notes for the provisional liquidator,” read the affidavit.
Uys stated that Vedanta had invested millions of United States dollars in KCM with a view to realising a return on the investment over a period of time.
He added that it was therefore within Vedanta’s interest that KCM should continue as a going concern.
Uys further stated that as a majority shareholder in KCM, Vedanta stands to suffer great prejudice if the court ordered that the mining company be wound up without hearing it.
“The intended second respondent herein has an interest in this matter as majority shareholder in the respondent and stands to suffer great prejudice if this court orders that the respondent be wound up without hearing the intended second respondent. That I verily believe, as advised by the intended second respondent’s advocates on record, that it is in the interest of justice that the intended second respondent be joined as a party to the proceedings herein so that the intended second respondent may make representations on this matter,” read the affidavit.
Uys stated that it was crucial and of utmost urgency that Vedanta be joined as a party to the proceedings.
“I therefore humbly seek the indulgence of this honourable court to join the intended second respondent to make it’s representation relating to the winding up of the respondent without which joinder, the intended second respondent suffer great prejudice,” read the affidavit further.
The inter-partes hearing of the application concerning the appointment of Milingo Lungu as provisional liquidator is scheduled to be heard on May 24, this year.