Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Provisional Liquidator Milingo Lungu has refuted claims that he was involved in the transfer of National Democratic Congress (NDC) Copperbelt Province chairperson Chipoka Mulenga, Democratic Party (DP) spokesperson Judith Kabemba and two others to Napundwe Mine due to their political inclination.
And Lungu says the transfers are to ensure operational efficiency and revamping of Nampundwe Mine.
On Tuesday, NDC president Chishimba Kambwili threatened to take legal proceedings against Milingo if he did not rescind the transfers of NDC and DP officials to Nampundwe Mine.
But in an interview, Lungu denied any involvement in KCM’s daily operations and refuted having been privy to information of the two opposition party officials’ inclination to any political party.
“I first heard of the story on Saturday to say that there had been some transfers made and, well at that time, I didn’t even know that the transfer had been made so I went to enquire. You see, at my level as Provisional Liquidator, my direct reporting (is to) the CEO and the Executive Committee. So, I delegate the day-to-day management of KCM to the CEO and the Executive Committee. So, transfers are usually the prerogative of the supervisors to those officers. So those are not officers who I supervise,” Milingo said.
“It was done by their supervisors. I heard the allegation that it was done by me; I don’t involve myself at that low-level. I don’t even know what their positions are and what they do or which party they belong; I am not privy to that information. I am sure the supervisors took that decision for operational efficiency.”
He said he was informed that the transfers were meant to revamp Napundwe Mine and to facilitate for operational efficiency.
“So, I have been told that it has been done to enhance operational efficiency (at) Napundwe (Mine) because I gave a task to the committee that we need to make Napundwe (Mine) efficient. So, whatever transfers that have been done, and I am sure it is not just them that have been transferred, there are some other people that have been transferred. So, it is for purposes of operational efficiency. This is, generally, a management and operational division; it is not a policy decision,” he said.
“We need to revamp Napundwe’s operation. It is operational but we need to make it more efficient that is the task I have given to management. We need to increase production. If it (transfers) is unnecessary to help in increasing production at Napundwe, then so be it. I don’t think it has been done for any political reasons, at least I don’t know of any political reasons why it should be done.”
When asked about Kambwili’s threat to commence legal proceedings if he did not rescind the decision to transfer these officials, Lungu said Kambwili was free to go ahead with litigation.
“They can go ahead! I mean, that is the prerogative of management. Transfers are the prerogative of management. The court matter has not yet been concluded. The court court matter had not yet been concluded. So, when it concludes, the court will give the necessary orders,” said Lungu.
But KCM insiders have insisted that the transfers are politically motivated and on Lungu’s involvement.
“After an attempt by PF to stop opposition KCM Employees from participating in politics by signing a new policy…PF has now devised a new plan to frustrate opposition employees by transferring them and whoever refuses must be fired without fail. In the cartel to frustrate employees are Beatrice Mutambo sister to Felix Mutati, Shapi Shachinda a PF cadre who has been promoted to general manager, the Liquidator, Nathan Chanda, Chali Chilombo and Matthews Nkhuwa.
A meeting was held yesterday (Tuesday) where we were told to transfer and fire all opposition workers who are a threat to PF. To this effect, KCM will start giving letters to those targeted in this act. On the list are all those who want to contest as MPs in 2021. In the first list Chipoka Mulenga and Sinkamba of the NDC, Peter Nkweto and Gilbert Katongo of the UPND who are challenging Nkhuwa and Musukwa. Judith Kabemba of the DP who is challenging Chilombo in Nchanga and persuading PF to sell the Presidential jet which came out strong as it exposes PF. Others are Walter Miyoba, Howard Chilundika, Peter Kangamba. Also Enock Mponda who is perceived to be a shushushu (spy) and loyalist to Vedanta,” said the insiders.
“Liquidator Milingo Lungu should concentrate on his job of liquidating the company and leave the people in peace. This is why PF is taking long to leave KCM so that they sort out opposition employees and siphon money from KCM for their 2021 campaign. Chingola people and Zambia, rise up and open your eyes. We challenge the Liquidator to state if the targeted employees will not be transferred or fired.”