Barnaby’s appointment as new Mines PS worries ZCCM-IH minority shareholders

Euronext, the minority shareholders of ZCCM-IH, says they are worried about the appointment of Barnaby Mulenga as the incoming Mines Permanent Secretary, describing him as a “sulphurous figure” who allegedly appears in the 2018 Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Trends Report.

In a statement, Charles Thierry, who spoke on behalf of Euronext, expressed concern at Mulenga’s appointment to the sensitive position, which would give him access to the ZCCM-IH board of directors.

Mulenga’s appointment as the incoming Mines Permanent Secretary by President Edgar Lungu follows the Head of State’s decision not to renew outgoing Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda’s contract upon expiry.

“The contract of Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda has not been renewed. He will be replaced by the former Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Barnaby Mulenga. As this sulphurous figure appears in the 2018 FIC Report, the minority shareholders are particularly worried about this appointment. Indeed, his position as Mines Permanent Secretary gives him access to ZCCM-IH Board of Directors. Our holding company has already suffered enormously from inconsistent and hazardous investments under the leadership of former CEO Dr Pius Kasolo. ZCCM-IH took a hit each time (Ndola Lime, Investrust, etc). Not to mention the US $600m CAC cement plant project in partnership with SinoConst, which makes no economic sense: an exorbitant amount and overcapacity (equivalent of Zambia’s annual consumption!) while competition is already fierce between other cement groups, the Zambian economy is struggling and a global recession is looming. When completed, this cement plant will undoubtedly be a total financial disaster,” Thierry stated in a press release issued, Monday.

He, however, expressed happiness on the opening of Kabundi Manganese Mine, urging management to ensure decisions were taken with the aim of creating value.

“Our management is striving to address the financial situation in spite of our meagre resources and refocus investments on our core business: mining operations as an operator. This is the only way to no longer depend on our indelicate and unfair partners. We also welcome the opening of our Kabundi manganese mine. Therefore, we urge the management, other directors of the board and our chairman Eric Silwamba to be vigilant and to ensure that decisions are taken with the sole aim of creating value, while continuously preserving the interests of ZCCM-IH shareholders: the Zambian people and the minority shareholders, including Zambian pensioners since NAPSA is also a 15 per cent shareholder of the company,” stated Thierry.

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