Reports that we plan to sell KCM assets false – Liquidator

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Provisional Liquidator Milingo Lungu has told the Lusaka High Court the purported press articles relating to his supposed intention to sell the mining company to other foreign investors are speculative and not attributable to him.

This is the matter in which ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC is seeking an order to have KCM liquidated.

Last week, High Court Judge Anessie Banda-Bobo discharged the ex-parte order to stay some of Lungu’s powers granted on Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited.

The powers included among others; 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.

Vedanta stated in its affidavit that it was distressed that Lungu may be moving to sell KCM or its assets prior to winding up petition.

It claimed that it had been brought to its attention that third parties interested in acquiring an interest in KCM assets had started due diligence assessments of KCM and it’s assets at KCM mine site.

Vedanta further stated that in the interest of justice, KCM’s business and undertaking should be preserved, maintained and protected from jeopardy pending the hearing and determination of the winding up petition.

But according to his affidavit in opposition to summons for an order to stay powers of the provisional liquidator, Lungu stated that claims by Vedanta that he intended to sell the mining company to other foreign investors were speculative and should not be attributed to him.

Lungu added that the position taken by Vedanta was not based on facts.

He stated that the alleged informant third parties to Vedanta regarding the sale of KCM had not been disclosed and that the claim was therefore, misleading.

Lungu further said his powers as Provisional Liquidator were subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court.

“My powers as Provisional Liquidator are subjected to the jurisdiction of this court. The purported press articles relating to my supposed intention to sell KCM or its assets to other foreign investors are speculative and not attributable to me. The position of Vedanta as deposed in the affidavit of the deponent is not based on fact. The depositions contained in the affidavit of the deponent are not correct and I have not permitted or acquiesced to any due diligence assessment as deposed to by the deponent or at all,” he stated.

“The names of the alleged informant third parties to the said Vedanta have not been disclosed . Contents of Para 14, 15 and 16 of the affidavit of the deponent are misleading and I crave the leave of this court to refer to my affidavit in support of ex parte summons to set aside ex parte order filed on June 27 in response thereto and high light the deleterious consequences of this court staying the exercise of the powers sought to be stayed by the deponent and indeed any of my powers pending the determination of the petition.”

He stated that he had been informed by State counsel Bonaventure Mutale, the lead counsel of KCM, that the time and place at which the petition would be heard had not been appointed and consequently, the petition had not been advertised.

Lungu stated that Mutale also informed him that the progress of the matter had been hampered by various interlocutory applications and that Vedanta, a non party, had been responsible for a good number of those applications.

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