KONKOLA Copper Mines provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu says the report that he authorised a payment of US$1.6 million to a company that is owned by his relative, for the supply of Heavy Fuel Oil, is a fabrication that borders n mischief.

In a statement issued by KCM Acting Public Relations Manager Victoria Kabwe, Tuesday, Milingo said he had noted a systematic and consistent fabrication of stories against the mining company by the News Diggers.

“The Provisional Liquidator (PL) of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Milingo Lungu, wishes to categorically refute a story published in the News Diggers newspaper of Monday, 28th September 2020 in which it alleged actions of impropriety by the PL at the company. The insinuation that the PL authorised payment of $1.6 million to a company Cashfin in which a relative allegedly had interest to supply Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to KCM is a total fabrication and borders on serious mischief. The article is full of innuendos intended to bring the PL’s name into disrepute and discredit the ongoing liquidation process. The PL wishes to categorically deny that he is interested in Cashfin Limited, by himself or through any of his relatives. This fact can simply be verified by making a search at PACRA. In that regard, when the allegations first came to his attention, the Provisional Liquidator took the step to report the matter to the Police so that the persons behind these allegations may be brought to book and as such the matter is the subject of an active Police investigation,” read the statement in part.

“The apparent insinuation of wrongdoing in KCM is a well-calculated and desperate attempt to cast aspersions on the person and character of the Provisional Liquidator and create a picture of failure in the liquidation process, which is far from the truth. This is not the first time that such false allegations of impropriety have been made as can be proved from some of the headlines highlighted below:
1. On the 1st February 2020, News Diggers reported that the PL had transferred K100 million from KCM accounts to his law firm, when this was not true
2. On 11th July 2019, the News Diggers falsely reported that ZRA had paid KCM over K95m in tax refunds, to pay liquidator’s legal fees
3. On the 19th October 2019, News Diggers reported that the Nchanga smelter had burnt down, when not
4. On the 23rd December 2019, News Diggers again reported a fabricated story that several miners were trapped underground and the KCM was experiencing major maintenance problems since the liquidation process commenced.””

Milingo claimed that the intention of the newspaper was to create an impression that he was failing to manage the mine.

“The Provisional Liquidator has noted a systematic and consistent fabrication of stories against the company by the News Diggers, whose intention is to create falsehoods that there is failure in the managing the company. The News Diggers has intentionally chosen to print falsehoods to shore up the image of Vedanta Resources, when the shambolic management of KCM under Vedanta is actually the reason the government placed the company in liquidation. The PL and KCM Management will not be distracted by these falsehoods and will ensure they together continue to work towards a positive outcome of the liquidation process. Therefore, the Provisional Liquidator demands an apology and complete retraction of the false story in the News Diggers,” read the statement.