TIMES Printpak Zambia Limited, the publisher of the Times of Zambia and SundayTimes, needs at least K50 million as a short-term measure to sort out its immediate financial problems.
Company Board Chairperson Michael Musonda said this yesterday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services.
The Committee chaired by MMD Kasempa Member of Parliament (MP) Kabinga Pande early this week summoned the Times Printpak Board to explain why the workers at the company had continued to go for several months without salaries.
“As a short-term measure, Times Printpak needs K50 million to meet its urgent needs, which include K22.6 million to offset retirees’ packages and K6 million ($860,520Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 rate ) to clear salary arrears for its employees,” Mr Musonda said.
He told the Committee that in addition, the company needed K3 million to re-energise the commercial printing department and K8 million as working capital.
Times Printpak also owes National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) andZambia Revenue Authority a whooping K376 million in unpaid statutory obligations.
On this debt, Mr Musonda said the company would need to enter into an equity arrangement to liquidate the outstanding amount.
Asked by United Party for National Development (UPND) Kafulafuta MP Brian Chitafu whether there were any plans by the Government to privatise the company, Mr Musonda said the current financial state the company was in was not attractive for such an undertaking.
Kasama Central MP Geoffrey Mwamba asked Mr Musonda whether there had been any concrete agreement with the Government to recapitalise the company.
Mr Musonda said there had been discussions with the Government on the need to recapitalise the Company.
“Government has promised to recapitalise the company but have not indicated exactly when this would be done,” Mr Musonda said.
He also told the Committee that various internal measures were being undertaken to strengthen the operations of the company and address the financial challenges it was going through.
Times of Zambia