President Edgar Lungu says government is making progress in the process of dis-engaging from Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) a subsidiary of Vedanta mineral resources.
Speaking when he met representatives of the tripartite Labour movement at State House today, President Lungu said the decision on KCM is final and will be done within the confines of the law and in a consultative manner.
President Lungu has also stated that the implementation of the proposed sales tax is non reversible but that government is open to consultations on the modifications and the manner in which it should be implemented.
He also explained that government came up with the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) in order to provide stakeholders with a broader spectrum, were contentious and critical issues about national matters can be addressed.
He disclosed that he has heard people’s concerns regarding some resolutions that were made at the NDF such as the coalition government, re-introduction of Deputy Ministers and the removal of clause 189 from the constitution, which compels employers to keep retirees on the payroll until their terminal benefits are paid, among others.
President Lungu disclosed that the NDF is an going process, adding that the resolutions are not final as they have to go through parliament before he can assent to them or decline.
And President Lungu has expressed concern with the current economic situation and other fiscal constraints in the country, assuring that he will engage the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia to see how best the situation can be addressed to lessen the impact it may have on the Zambian people.
And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Chishimba Nkole commended President Lungu, for his decision made regarding mining companies, noting that it is estimated that three billion United States dollars is lost annually through illicit financial transactions in the mining sector.
Mr Nkole said there is now need to ensure that long term measures aimed at increasing participation of Zambians in mining is put in place.
He also called on President Lungu to intervene in some of the proposals that were made at the NDF which have raised concerns among members of the public.
Earlier, the Zambia Federation of Employers Action President Stephen Sikombe appealed to government to consider implementing the proposed sales tax in the next financial year, adding if it is implemented in July 2019, it is likely to increase the cost of doing business thereby affecting the economic performance of the country.
Meanwhile, the High Court of Zambia has appointed Mr. Lungu Milingo of Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company as Provincial Liquidator for KCM following an application by ZCCM – IH.
According to the order, the provisional liquidator will among others things have the powers to carry on the business of the respondent so far as is necessary for the beneficial of the winding up, make any compromises or arrangements with creditors, make any agreement on all questions in any way relating to or affecting the company or its assets.
The liquidator will also take possession, custody and control of all the assets of the respondent and bring or defend any action or other legal proceedings in the name of or on behalf of the respondents, dispose of assets by public tender or the most transparent manner under the circumstances, sell the real or personal property and things in action of the respondent by public auction public tender or private contract.
Part of the Presidential delegation assigned to institute the undertaking includes;
1. Mr. Lungu Milingo of Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company,
2. Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon Richard Musukwa, MP,
3. Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon Joyce Nonde-Simukoko,
4. Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Mr Amos Chanda,
5. Special Assistant to the President for Political Affairs Mr. Kaizer Zulu,
6. Special Assistant to the President on Economic and Development Affairs, Mr. Hibeene Mwiinga,
7. Special Assistant to the President for Legal Affairs, Mr. Sukwana Lukangaba,
8. The Labour Commissioner.