According to the letter below from Libyan telecom company LAP GreenN as attached, its still the owner of Zamtel and the debt to ZTE should be on LAP GreenN instead of Zambia Government. Why did PF government plunder with LAP GreenN for the debt of US$103 million on the projects of Zamtel’s Global System for Mobile (GSM) expansion phase IV and Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS)?
In fact, Zambia has been already under high debt ratio and any new borrowing should be used for new works instead of bailing out a debt incurred by a foreign company investor. Even former President Sata rejected the original proposal because of the same reason.
Under this situation, Finance Minister Chikwanda still insisted on pushing the loan approval through Cabinet with unseemly haste on November 17 of 2014, less than a week after President Michael Sata’s funeral.
Obviously, this is an ill-advised decision. Zambian is calling for the termination of procedure to settle the debt to a Chinese company on behalf of a foreign investor to waste taxpayer’s money.
FINANCE minister Alexander Chikwanda wants Cabinet to approve a US$103 million loan in order to repay a LAP GreenN loan obtained in 2011 to upgrade Zamtel.According to sources, Chikwanda is seeking the US$103 million (K656 million) loan approval from the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of China to pay ZTE on behalf of LAP GreenN.
In June 2010, the Libyan African investment Porfolio Network (LAP GreenN) acquired a 75 per cent stake in Zamtel, a state-owned telecommunication company for US$257 million, a decision the Patriotic Front government reversed in 2012.
In 2011, LAP GreenN obtained a US$103 million loan from ZTE to implement Zamtel’s Global System for Mobile (GSM) expansion phase IV and Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) projects.
Ministry of Finance sources say Chikwanda wants his ministry to undertake the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the loan.“This is not the first time that the minister is bringing up this proposal. He tried to get Cabinet approval when president [Michael] Sata was alive and he [Sata] rejected it on grounds that government could not repay a loan obtained by a foreign company,” government sources revealed.
“Even when it came to the consultative stage, the minister was advised that government can easily maintain the status quo on the matter or better still instruct Zamtel to come up with its own loan repayment programme through borrowing from local commercial banks. But we are surprised that he has gone back to Cabinet to push for this loan.”