Late last year, I advised Finance Minister to focus more on viable fiscal discipline and asset optimization strategies, and in particular, to consider selling toxic assets owned by Government in all mining companies as of the ways to redeem Eurobonds and high-interest Chinese loans.
I thank Lusaka Times for publishing my advise to put it in public domain. Now, as Minister of Finance has confirmed, her ministry has since received several unsolicited offers from mining investors, including First Quantum, to buy what I termed as “ZCCM-IH toxic assets”.
I am glad that once again, my ideas are back in the news as premium ideas. The primary focus for Government should be to dismantle pressing debts, especially high interest Chinese loans and Eurobonds from these toxic assets.
Selling off the ZCCM-IH shares could generate in excess of $5 billion additional income. Waiting to dispose these shares beyond this point could be as fatal as the Chiluba Government mistake on the Kafue Consortium deal of the 1990s. So, Government needs to go for it now, than later.
By Peter Sinkamba
Green Party President