Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe has said that Government has not decided the sell of its 20% ZCCM-IH share holding. Ms Mwanakatwe said that if the decision is made it will have to go to the cabinet.
She however, said there are several companies that have offered to buy the 20% share holding of ZCCM-IH.
Speaking during the PF interactive forum in Lusaka today, Mrs Mwanakatwe also explained that the 20% is the minority sharing holding of which Zambia holds 17% and 3% is held by the French.
“We are the minority ZCCM-IH; 17%, the French 3%. As they negotiate, we sought of come together with the French who also seat on board of ZCCM-IH because they own 3%,” She said.
“We are weighing the options, should we, should we not? We have not decided to sell. If a decision to sell has to be made, I will have to go to cabinet and cabinet will make that decision.”
Mrs Mwanakatwe said First Quantum minerals (FQM) is just one of the many companies that has expressed interest to buy the shares and that government is currently weighing the offers.
“I can tell you that we have quite a few offers on the table,” She disclosed
She says this is an example that a country is attractive through the mining sector.
Meanwhile, Mrs Mwanakatwe has expressed shock and frustration at the continued propaganda by the opposition leaders that the Chinese government has taken over ZNBC, ZESCO AND KK International Airport.
Mrs Mwanakatwe who is also Lusaka Central Lawmaker said that despite the negative talk, Zambia’s economy has continued to grow at 4% adding that Zambia’s Eurobond was the best performing soverign bond on the market according Bloomberg.
Speaking, on Sunday, when she made her debut appearance on the PF interactive forum, Ms Mwanakatwe cautioned against portraying the country in bad light to the external world.
“Let’s not portray this country in bad light to the external world. Look at the Eurobond, because of all these falsehoods that we have given ZESCO to the Chinese, how dare you tell the world such a lie that we have given the Airport (KKIA) which is not even finished, that we have given it to the Chinese? How dare you tell such a lie about your own country? That we have given ZESCO to the Chinese,” wondered Mrs Mwanakatwe
“How can you tell such a lie? where was the Eurobond? 17% because of boza, falsehood!”
The finance minister also saod that government has not defaulted on any of its external debt.
“And I want to state categorically that the PF government has not and will not default on any of it external debt. we will ensure that every month when it’s time to pay the debt we will pay. when it’s time to pay the Eurobond bond we will pay”
She stated categorically that even in an event of a default it was impossible for any lender to take over the state assets because they were not offered as collateral.
“You will find that when people talk about ZESCO being taken by the Chinese, they cannot because we have a sovereign guarantee which we have put on a special purpose vehicle, outside of ZESCO. So ZESCO has not been collateralized at all. In this special purpose vehicle we have given a sovereign guarantee. The same for ZNBC, the for KKIA)international Airport.
Ms Mwanakatwe urged all well meaning Zambians to speak well of opportunities that in the country.
“Zambia’s bond is the best performing bond now according to Reuters and Bloomberg. For me, that is confidence that this economy is heading in the right direction. I urge all well meaning Zambians to speak well of opportunities that in our country
Ms Mwanakatwe disclosed that government will not be complacent with the economy growing at 4% adding that her ministry is aiming for 8 or 9%.