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Don’t nationalize KCM – Lucky Mulusa

Filed under: Business,Latest News |
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MulusaA Former Member of Parliament has supported the Patriotic Front (PF) government’s resistance to nationalise Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), reports Zambian Eye’s Thom Shonga.

Speaking in an interview on the Zambian Eye’s Hot Seat program on Facebook hosted on Wednesday May 21, 2014, Mr Lucky Mulusa supports the PF’s resistance to nationalise KCM despite a public outcry that it should be nationalised.

The Zambian public has urged the PF government to repossess the prized asset after it emerged that chairman of the London based Vedanta Resources, Shri Anil Agarwal, mocked the Zambian government for selling him KCM at US$25 million and a few months he recouped the amount through sales of copper.

Agarwal further mocked Zambians that he makes US$500 million to US$1 billion annually in profit from KCM that he got for US$25 million.

Mulusa said the people of Zambia and its government should not fall the reportedly high profits that KCM was making as it owes local and foreign suppliers US$1.44 million and if the Zambian government nationalised it will have to find money to pay the debts.

“Remember that he owes everybody money in the name of KCM. Suppliers, banks both domestic and foreign and the debts currently stand at $1.444 billion. So, if we nationalise, we will have to take over that burden as well and then he will rush to the International Court of Arbitration to ask for compensation. The government is right not to fall into the nationalisation trap,” Mulusa said.

Mulusa called for the ministries of mines and finance to collaborate with specialised agencies such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) so that they could monitor the KCM turn around to ensure that borrowed funds are applied for the purpose and proceeds are fully accounted for.

“The way forward is for the Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Finance together with specialised agencies such as ZRA, ZDA etc to create a team that should monitor the KCM turnaround strategy to ensure that borrowed funds are tracked and brought back to recapitalise the mine and fund the previously envisaged projects. The $375 million balance of the purchase price that never came in form of recapitalising the mine must be paid to the government since existing assets were used to continue operations,” Mulusa said.

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