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KCM liquidation could be a debt swap arrangement – Chilikwazi

UNPD member Costain Chilikwazi says the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mines should be handled with caution.

And Nation Restoration Party (NAREP) Central Province information and publicity secretary Frank Sichone has said that the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mines was predetermined.

In a statement, Chilikwazi observed that issues surrounding operations at KCM were complex, and the decision by the PF government to takeover the mine had potential to cripple the country’s economy.

“Konkola Copper Mines is a very big mining firm and issues surrounding operations at KCM are very complex. It is also worth stating that KCM employed a huge number of people and had engaged a number of contractors and suppliers that in turn created employment for the local people. In the same vein, it is undisputable that KCM has been contributing huge sums of money in terms of taxes,” Chilikwazi stated. “Therefore, if the liquidation process of KCM is not handled with caution, this decision by the Patriotic Front government has the potential to cripple the country’s economy,” he stated.

Chilikwazi stated that the PF decision to liquidate Konkola Copper Mines might be a debt swap with a foreign nation from which the Zambian government borrowed money.

“We are also aware that the PF government owes the Chinese government and some Chinese companies a lot of money in form of loans. We are also aware that the government is currently struggling to service loans and debts owed to foreign firms. So we would not be surprised to find that the Chinese take over the running of KCM in a debt swap arrangement,” stated Chilikwazi.

Meanwhile, Sichone said the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mines was predetermined.

“KCM has been liquidated and a provisional liquidator appointed. The issue has moved so fast and to me it speaks volumes. And I won’t be shocked if an investor, most likely a Chinese, is already found. My simple conclusion is that this was a well calculated and predetermined move even before engaging KCM. Politics at play,” Sichone stated. “One thing I give credit to the PF government is that they are way ahead of us in many things. We don’t read signs quickly, we only come to know things very late when they have already happened. You have to be extremely alert to understand how things move in Zambia under this clever leadership. No wonder I am seen to complain all the time because I have an extra eye to read and know what’s going on.”

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