LUANSHYA mayor Nathan Chanda has appealed to the Industrial Development Corporation to consider recapitalising the defunct Serioes International Limited.
During a meeting with IDC officials who paid a courtesy call on him at Luanshya Civic Centre, Chanda further suggested that the IDC also considers looking for local or foreign equity partners who could help in revamping Serioes International, which was embroiled in an ownership row for more than a decade.
Serioes International Limited was placed under receivership shortly after it was privatised. The clothing manufacturing company was abandoned by its last private owners – the India-based multinational Banani Group of Companies after it pulled out of copper mining in Luanshya.
Chanda said prime land and solid infrastructure were adequate enough to attract an equity partner for Serioes International.
He added that Luanshya had what he considered a key advantage – its central location.
Luanshya lies off the main Ndola-Kitwe transportation artery, and is the first locale en route southwards to Masaiti and Mpongwe.
According to Luanshya Municipal Council public relations manager Gideon Thole, the town further serves as an alternative link to the ever-active and robust Kapiri-Mposhi and famous Lukanga fishing sites and has land vast enough to accommodate various investments in sectors such as manufacturing, mining of iron, agriculture including the creation of a multi-facility economic zone.
Thole said in December 2016, the council wrote to the Administrator General expressing interest to purchase Serioes International Ltd with the aim of resuscitating it and putting up modern entertainment and conference facilities.
IDC corporate affairs officer Pamela Musepa said her organisation wanted to establish the current state of affairs of Serioes International before deciding on the next course of action.
Serioes International ex-workers committee chairperson Robert Mwelemuke said the surviving 29 former employees were now destitute as they were still waiting to be paid their terminal benefits.
Mwelemuke said now that it had been established that the true owners of Serioes International was the government and that the institution was placed under the IDC, the former workers were optimistic that they would soon receive their benefits.
Serioes International was for a long time the pride of Luanshya and Zambia and used to make suits, jeans and military uniform for many European and African countries. Its workers were once the highest paid in Luanshya.