Mines Minister Richard Musukwa says government has not started any negotiations with any potential buyer of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) Plc’s assets.
Musukwa explained that there had been no steps to invite effective bids of the sale of KCM’s assets as the process would be done after the pending court clearance.
The Minister said this in Parliament, Tuesday, when he responded to a written question from Nchanga PF member of parliament Chali Chilombo, who wanted to know whether government was aware that the residents of Chililabombwe and Chingola were extremely anxious over the liquidation of KCM and if so, how far government had gone with the potential buyers of KCM’s assets.
“Madam Speaker, in recognizing the guidance and sanctity of the Judiciary, who are handling the matters concerning the liquidation process of Konkola Copper Mine, government has not started any negotiations with any potential buyer of KCM assets. However, KCM has been visited by several sections of international and local entities expressing interest following the announcement of the divorce process by Konkola Copper Mine and ZCCM-IH. There has been no steps to invite effective bids of the sale of the assets. This process will be done and has been reserved awaiting clearance from the courts of law, which we respect. The House may wish to know that the liquidation process is basically the first process before resolving the issues surrounding KCM. We have taken advice to ensure that the sale is done within the confines of the law and pursuant to a court order,” Musukwa said.
He insisted that there was no sale that would take place at KCM, which would undermine the integrity of the court process.
“In that regard, no sale will be undertaken that undermines the integrity of the court process, and as government, we understand that the due process of the law has to be followed and respected and we are committed to that effect. Madam Speaker, to this effect, I wish to state that the High Court proceedings, which are currently going on, are matters that the Government of the Republic of Zambia continues to respect because we are a government of laws,” Musukwa said.
And Musukwa said the decision to offload KCM was made on account of the deteriorating social and economic situation caused by Vedanta Resources’ mismanagement.
“Government is fully aware of the anxieties of residents of Chililabombwe and Chingola over the future of KCM. The House may wish to know that residents of Chingola and Chililabombwe started raising concerns over the future of KCM way before the commencement of the liquidation process. The action Zambia Consolidated Investment ZCCM-IH took was on account of deteriorating social and economic situation caused by mismanagement of KCM by Vedanta. If left unchecked, it would have spelt catastrophe for the residents of Chililabombwe and Chingola and the entire Copperbelt,” said Musukwa.
“Government also has a duty to safeguard its citizens and the actions were taken in that context. The ultimate aim of ZCCM-IH instituting the liquidation process was to secure an investor who would develop the mine to its full potential guaranteeing the much-needed jobs and business opportunities on the Copperbelt in particular, Chingola, Chililabombwe and other peripheral areas.”