Jesuit Centre (JCTR) criticises KCM sale

Anil Agarwal, Chairman – Vedanta
Anil Agarwal, Chairman – Vedanta

THE controversy surrounding the sale of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has continued to attract sharp criticism from various organisations, with the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) calling for the review of the tax rebates and other fiscal incentives pertaining to the mines.

Meanwhile, opposition MMD president Nevers Mumba has condemned Vedanta Resources chairperson, Anil Argawal for his revelations that he bought KCM for a song and was reaping from the mine.

JCTR media and information officer, Mwiinga Shimilimo said it was clear that Zambia is not significantly accessing a fair share of mining revenue for sustainable development from current mining activity in the country.

KCM was sold to Vedanta Resources in 2004 at a cost of US$25 million from the sale price of US$400 million.

A YouTube video has been circulating, showing Mr Argawal boasting that ‘KCM was bought for a song.’

She urged Government in the short-to-medium term to undertake a comprehensive forensic audit of the mines particularly those identified as undertaking unethical business and assess whether they are paying the correct tax.

In a separate statement, MMD president said Government should take legal action against KCM to ensure the firm pays back the losses Zambia incurred.

“We believe that the dignity of our people should not be ridiculed by any person locally or abroad,” Dr Mumba said.

He said Government should ensure that no individual or group of individuals, corporate or otherwise manipulate the existing tax laws.

Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) is also in support of Government’s plans to recover losses incurred during the sale of KCM.

FDD spokesperson, Antonio Mwanza said in an interview that Government should also immediately re-introduce windfall tax in all mining companies.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) also added its voice in condemning Mr Argawal over his remarks on KCM.

UPND deputy spokesperson, Edwin Lifwekelo said the party wants Government to take immediate steps that would address concerns of the stakeholders, if Zambia is to get any meaningful benefits from the mines.

Times of Zambia