By BENNIE MUNDANDO
AN INDIAN caller claiming to be from Vedanta Resources has called State House seeking help over the impasse between Government and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc which has resulted in litigation.
Mr. Rahul Sharma, who claimed to be from Vedanta in India, called special assistant to the President for politics Kaizer Zulu and asked for his help to find an amicable resolution of the standoff but Mr. Zulu ignored him.
Mr. Sharma then sent a WhatsApp message to Mr. Zulu asking if he was still working with the President and begged him to intervene in the KCM matter.
“Good afternoon. This is Rahul Sharma, Vedanta, India. Are you still with honorable President? As you are aware, the issues of KCM need your help please,” reads the message.
Mr. Zulu confirmed receiving the call and WhatsApp message but wondered what Mr. Sharma wanted when the matter is in Court.
And when the Daily Nation contacted Mr. Sharma on his mobile number to confirm what his position in Vedanta was and what sort of help he was seeking from Mr. Zulu, he referred all queries to KCM. “I am not in a position to talk to you. I am not even in Zambia. I am in India. Speak to KCM,” he said.
Government has asked the Lusaka High Court to grant it an order to appoint Milingo Lungu of Messrs Lungu Simwanza & Company as provisional liquidator of KCM.
Government has applied to takeover KCM for alleged breach of section 35 (1) (b) of the Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2015 after taking over operations by producing less than the proposed output of ore per annum.
Investigations by the Daily Nation have revealed that since the Vendetta Resources took over operations in 2014, it failed to produce six million tonnes of ore per annum which was in accordance with the Act.
It has been revealed that the mining firm produced less than two million ore per annum which was contrary to the provision of the Act.
Instead of the mining firm produced 120, 409 in 2014, 115,098 in 2015, 111, 529 in 2016 and 86,584 tonnes in 2017 respectively, the company failed to meet its target despite assuring government itv would be producing over 500,000 tonnes per annum.