KCM defies Govt order

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Konkola Copper Miner - KCM
Konkola Copper Miner - KCM

KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has not paid various contractors and suppliers despite Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma’s directive to do so.
Initially, more than 2,000 contractors and suppliers were supplying their goods and services to KCM, but the number has reduced to 600.
Zambia General Contractors, Suppliers and Transporters Association president Kidson Mwandila said KCM was not up to date with payments owed to the contractors.
Mr Mwandila said in Kitwe yesterday that some contractors were owed money for various jobs done as far back as 2005, with one contractor owed more than US$2.5 million as at January 31, this year.
He said another transporter was owed more than $20,000 for car services rendered to the mining firm.
“Most suppliers, transporters and contractors are owed a lot of money. KCM is not up to date with the payments despite that instruction from the minister for them to pay the suppliers and contractors,” he said.
Mr Mwandila said the suppliers and contractors depended on the same money for their livelihood.
He said the association was scheduled to meet with KCM management but had not agreed on a date.
But KCM public relations and communications manager Shapi Shachinda said KCM had varying payment terms with all of its contractors and suppliers.
Mr Shachinda explained that while the company took all reasonable measures to settle its creditor obligations within such payment terms, there were times when it was not possible for all vendors.
“At the current time, the company does have some overdue balances. However, measures are being taken to settle all such overdue balances before the end of April 2014,” he said.
Mr Shachinda said the company regretted the inconvenience caused to the affected vendors.
Recently, Mr Yaluma said mining companies should give preference of awarding contracts to local companies.
He instructed KCM to pay the contractors within a specified period of time.

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