By: Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
The ferocity with which ZCCM-IH is defending the gold Joint Venture with foreign companies should have every patriotic citizen gasping for breath. If the ZCCM-IH Board are not careful, we will not only be calling for the recalling of this scandalous, politically motivated JV but also demand for the immediate dissolution of the entire ZCCM-IH Board.
Zambians have had enough of captured quasi boards playing the role of that useful idiot who facilitates the criminality of political actors at the expense of Zambians.
We have seen this with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), a quasi institution that has continued to aid and facilitate the diversion of economic gains away from the Zambian people by relentlessly keeping the pump price of fuel high, a pattern of criminal decision making that entrenches corruption across the fuel value chain.
Today, Zambians are staying paying a savage K18.62 per litre of petrol when all indications are that our pump price should be a maximum K10 per litre under global market conditions, despite a 30% plummetting in the value of the Kwacha against the US dollar.
It is also the same kind of criminal manipulation which the ZESCO board has been engaging in, by relentlessly sacrificing the local economy through the calculated manipulation of energy production, local and export distributions, deliberate price distortions and blatant deceptive conduct targeted at protecting the criminal behavior of politicians in the PF government.
This is the same ZESCO board that has been used by the PF regime to launch an illegal assault on the Bulk Power Supply Agreement with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), in an attempt aimed at hijacking energy revenues arising from the mines. It is this kind of institutional stupidity that has contributed to the destruction of the general mining investment environment as business environment uncertainty has made it incredibly difficult for companies to plan long term, resulting in mass job losses for our people.
The same ZESCO Board, rather than engaging in professional negotiations with CEC over the BSA, they succumbed to political pressure and allowed the PF Secretariat to dictate the tone of what should have been professional negotiations. But in essence, there are no actual negotiations going on. It is a front to sabotage close to $1bn worth of private investments and drive the control of CEC private assets into the hands of PF operatives.
We have also seen and witnessed the hasty taking over of private mining assets at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), again by PF operatives and without the proper professional due diligence. This has turned the current “KCM” liquidation process into a total looting machine with revenues now being used to fund the political party activities of the PF through irregularly awarded, inflated supply contracts to PF cadres.
How else does “the liquidator”, explain a $132m energy expense hole to CEC, the same private entity the PF regime are after, when we are being made to believe that KCM is performing far much better under a PF liquidator than previously? Where is the liquidator diverting production revenues?
And this is how the PF have planned to sabotage CEC. KCM, under Milingo Lungu, will never be able to pay off the $132m electricity bill to CEC. CEC will try to terminate electricity supply to KCM and then this will be used as a trigger to completely take over CEC by the PF in the “national interest.”
The general citizenry must now be very awake and careful and realize that now is never the time to give the PF regime a hallpass.
The country is under attack by sponsored criminal cartels who have identified political power as the ultimate prerequisite to carry out their dirty war against an independent Zambian Republic.
We must all be united in saying never again, and certainly not over our dead bodies, shall we allow our Zambian Republic to be stolen for the benefit of criminal capitalism.