Panic and anger has swept through Zambia’s government after MMD president, Nevers Mumba said, in the event it would replace the current administration, it would return Zamtel to LapGreen Networks of Libya.
The minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga said the government is scouting for $300 million to recapitalise Zamtel so that the company can once again become viable.
Nevers Mumba, the presidential candidate for the former ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) said last week the Zambian government seems to think nothing of wasting such a colossal amount of money when people were suffering.
He said in the event that his party forms government next year, they will invite LapGreen Networks back in Zambia and give them back Zamtel – adding that this would be on condition LapGreen Networks drops the current ongoing lawsuit against the Zambian government for $480 million as compensation for the investment it made in Zamtel.
Mumba said LapGreen Networks took over a bankrupt company that was losing millions of dollars and made it profitable within a year.
Zambia will be heading to the polls next year to choose another president and lawmakers.
Chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said the Zambian government was disturbed to hear of the MMD’s plans.
“It’s anarchy to start planning of giving back Zamtel to Lap Green Networks. This company is being run by the government on behalf of Zambians and therefore the government has a responsibility to ensure that Zamtel runs smoothly and profitably,” Kambwili told ITWeb Africa.
Zamtel was sold by the MMD government in 2010 for $257 million because the Zambian government allegedly failed to recapitalise the company.
In 2011 the MMD government lost power to the Patriotic Front (PF) which reversed the sale of the company on grounds that it was corruptly sold to the Libyans.
Since then, Zamtel, Zambia’s third largest operator after MTN and Airtel has not made a profit.
The Auditor General’s report revealed early this year that Zamtel could close as a result of its financial position.