President Edgar Chagwa Lungu speaks during the official opening of National Assembly at Parliament Building in Lusaka on Friday,September 13,2019.
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu speaks during the official opening of National Assembly at Parliament Building in Lusaka on Friday,September 13,2019.

President Edgar Lungu is reportedly panicking and running out of options when it comes to dealing with the swelling level of Chinese debt, the latest Africa Confidential says.

It observed that President Lungu’s government has racked up much bigger debts to Chinese companies than it has previously admitted.

According to the report, sources in the Finance Ministry in Lusaka say that the Chinese creditors are losing patience over debt arrears.

Chinese companies are not keen on debt rescheduling and would prefer to get some collateral, perhaps in the form of other mining assets.

Under growing political pressure as economic problems mount, President Lungu is running out of options.

Chinese companies would seek to benefit from the liquidation of Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and are also watching First Quantum Minerals (FQM), the country’s largest producer, which operates Kanshansi and Sentinel mines.

The government-owned ZCCM Investment Holdings, which has a 20% stake in the country’s biggest mines, wants to liquidate KCM, claiming that Vedanta is lying about expansion plans and is paying too little tax.

However, Chinese companies are reluctant to buy disputed assets.

ZCCM-IH’s claims have to go through arbitration.

This is an important test and could open the way for a sale.

The companies also face some anti-Chinese sentiment on the ground among trade unionists and local communities.

This explains the secrecy as Jiangxi Mining has purchased about 9.9% of FQM, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The purchases have come through derivatives and direct stock purchases and have so far cost about $800 million.

It would take about $2bn to give Jiangxi a shot at majority control.

Meanwhile, there is a standstill agreement between FQM and Jiangxi in which the Chinese have agreed not to take over without the approval of FQM’s managers and shareholders.

Glencore’s Zambian mine Mopani may also be ready for the auction block. Some industry insiders say Glencore’s two majority-owned Congo-K companies, Mutanda and Toronto-listed Katanga Mining, which operates the Kamoto Copper Project, are also being prepared for sale.

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26 COMMENTS

    • Wow! For a person with a brain and an ounce of knowledge to claim africa confidential is sponsored by HH…? Where do I even start? And these are the people who support PF? iyo kwena

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    • The man is desperate. That’s why he is busy running around in the presidential jet like a headless chicken
      He is fleeing from problems at home. Like the husband and father who cant face his family because his recklessness and drunkenness have left the home impoverished. So he is always running from home and spending his time from bar to bar

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    • Ba Journeyman-still amusing yourself with rubbish only you and your upnd supporters see and believe??

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    • Akainde is a sellout Privatization Thief who will NEVER be a President in Zambia. Malema is showing signs of growth but our little boy will NEVER grow up. INCOMPOS and “Namwala never happened!”

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    • We don’t hv to hear this from Africa Confidential. We know it and the only thing we know now is that even foreigners know it.

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  1. Africa Confidential, you also reported that Zesco had been taken over by Chinese, now we have begun to question your credibility. Maybe it is true that your source of news is HH?

    What is true though is that PF is in deep trouble, looks like theirs is a two term government, or maybe nearly two terms? What do you think Sunday Chanda? Or Antonio Mwanza?

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  2. Kudo you need to hold prayer breakfast for your humble leader, everything is slowly crumbling around him. Instead of blaming the opposition or condemning the messenger why don’t you kneel and pray for your so called humble leader as he is facing a mountain of issues. It’s getting tougher and tougher for him, I don’t know how he will win in 2020 with a bad economy and a mountain of self-inflicted problem of Kaloba, maybe you can donate your salary since you think you are better than rich HH, you’re constantly worried about.

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  3. One tends to doubt the authenticity of a report when it can’t get its spellings correct. Is there a mine called Kanshansi?

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  4. Zambia’s economy and state finances started on a slow downdraft with the election of clueless PF but things have gotten worse under Lungu’s watch.Zambia has no option but to ditch both.

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  5. If the Chinese Investors will not buy KCM disputed Assets why not expedite the Arbitration process? The longer this takes the more expensive will become to compensate Vedanta. Quicken up the process please.

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  6. If people took the time to analyze the opening of parliament speech, it started by saying previously, many people were only hearing about climatic change, the president went on to emphasize that climatic change is real before he went on to accuse climatic change of all the economic problems Zambia is facing today, one would think climatic change had targeted only Zambia with these problems going by the way the total blame was heaped on the animal called climatic change, amid this I could see how the first lady attentively looked at the Head of state as he went on to blame climatic change, those of us who can read faces would deduce what the first lady was going through. I think life is hard in politics especially if things fall apart. Climatic change is very segregative the way it has…

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  7. targetted Zambia, if it was within the con court powers to judge against climatic change, I would definitely have gone ahead to appeal against the unfair practices of climatic change which has singled out Zambia with adverse economic effects, Why did it not target Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, it is very unfair. at least if it targeted individuals within a country, I would have asked it to go for well to do politicians like Ngulube, Kaizer, Lusambo etc, so that the rest of us are pardoned. YABA.

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  8. If flying around in tax payer sponsored private jets and partying with drug dealers is called panicking then indeed he is. We in upnd warned you pf thugs about irresponsible borrowing and theft. Just like that uncivilized hyena kudos, we were called angry and sadists. We advised the pf not to export maize due to a looming food disaster, again pf was hardheaded and claimed Zambia had too much food. Now with hh tries to donate to people he is stopped because pf are embarrassed and only think about themselves. Vote upnd bane

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  9. African confidentia,Moody’s and Bloomberg were publishing the advice which the IMF was giving the MMD party prior 1991 general elections.UNIP was condemned to hell by the same media conglomerates.
    When MMD formed government same foreign media publications were on forefront internal evaluation of the sale of mines and factories.Towards 1999 the same media fraternity condemned MMD regime hence their Candidate lost elections.
    In 2015 the REGIME CHANGERS still play with African psychology at large by denouncing any development agenda fostered by Chinese in southern African countries by using the same media conglomerates. This method is still exercising in SA,Malawi,Zambia,Kenya,DRC,Bulundi ,Uganda and other countries in central and South Africa.

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    • Mr P
      Am not trying to be sadistic, but have you noticed what the Chinese give you in aid?It is purely to hold you by the b###s.No health,no education support unless in form of health,education infrastructure. Do you realise that it is the western world who support you in these areas?If you are HIV positive and you rely on ARV’s,they come from the West. What does that tell you about your nrw found chocholi friends?

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  10. Who is this ghost called climate change. It seems this ghost is terrorising countries that fail to plan well ahead of time. However climate change is not the cause of rampant corruption, and lack of transparency in the way government handles its business. Resources Zambia has but how we fail to go forward as a country amuses me. Most people’s insatiable desire for leadership never equates what they end up doing once given that power and authority.

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  11. Zambia’s debt is not the first and the last in this world, neither is it the worst because we are alive to the fact that even the so called “rich nations” have trillions of dollars in debt which have span hundreds of years. If you read in context, its obvious to know who the source of this info in Africa Confidential is, its HH and UPND. Mind you, HH is the most desperate man on planet earth because he knows that 2021 is his last attempt on presidential position and deep down, he knows we is gonna lose again.
    M’membe was last week on press freedom forum for the Mast, and if you listened very carefully from what he said, he was very honest, clear and to the point. He said this “In the today’s Technology Age, no politician should lie to anyone that the can create employment to the…

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  12. contd
    M’membe was last week on press freedom forum for the Mast, and if you listened very carefully from what he said, he was very honest, clear and to the point. He said this “In the today’s Technology Age, no politician should lie to anyone that the can create employment to the youths because Capitalism doesnt just support it”. Rather his only solution to this real and evident phenomena was, people especially the youth, need to be thinking like entrepreneurs! M’membe was simply being diplomatic by no saying that the noise from HH that he will create employment in the Technology Era is big lie and a “sweet”message that he thinks youths can buy in but the reality is that technology is doing what 1000 people could do in months in few hours. Thats why HH should stop lying to anyone…

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    • Solution
      1. Sale that Private Jet that was purchased in the name of Zambia Air force, and let the President use commercial flights
      2. Cancel all foreign trips and instead use video Conference Units
      3. Cancel all local trips in the name of inspecting projects and let this task be performed by the appointed ministers in each Province (that is why we have them)
      4. Withdraw all Government vehicles that have been given to ministers and any other Government Officials, and have all these sold. Let them use their own private transport like any other Zambians. Give them an option to buy if they want
      5. Construction of Presidential houses when one retires must be cancelled. Let retired Presidos construct houses from the pension they have earned

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