VEDANTA Resources chairperson Anil Agarwal has rendered a full apology to Zambia for boasting that he bought Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) ‘for a song’, Parliament heard yesterday.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma informed the House that despite Mr Agarwal’s apology, the matter was still being investigated following the establishment of a legal team.
A leaked YouTube video in May this year, showed Mr Agarwal boasting that “KCM was bought for a song”, a matter which a legal team led by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, was still studying.
KCM was sold to Vedanta Resources in 2004 at a cost of US$25million from a sale price of US$400 million.
“Vedanta Resources through its chairperson Agarwal had rendered a full apology to the Government, however, his comments are still being reviewed by our legal team set up to look at this matter,” Mr Yaluma said.
Mr Yaluma was responding to Kabompo West UPND Member of Parliament (MP) Ambrose Lufuma who wanted to know whether Government had intentions of summoning the Vedanta chairperson over the matter.
The Mines Minister added that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) would seek assistance from foreign firms in its continued monitoring of events at KCM, following evidence of gross mismanagement by Vedanta Resources.
This was a response to UPND Mazabuka Central MP, Garry Nkombo who asked whether Government would consider engaging international firms such as Scotland Yard to probe KCM operations particularly in tax evasion.
Mr Yaluma said the ZRA was capable of addressing the matter but did not rule out engagement of foreign firms to render assistance.
Audit revelations had shown that KCM management had failed to run the company effectively but that Government had taken stringent measures to ensure the mining giant did not collapse.
Meanwhile, Vice- President Guy Scott told Parliament that several heads of State had indicated that they would attend Zambia’s Golden Jubilee Independence Anniversary on October 24.
Dr Scott said the preparations for the Golden Jubilee had reached an advanced stage and were being steered by the National Steering Committee chaired by Secretary to the Cabinet, Roland Msiska and the Zambia @50 Secretariat.
Dr Scott said this when he delivered a ministerial statement to inform Parliament on the preparations for this year’s Independence celebrations, which were officially launched during last year’s Independence Day commemorations.
“I wish to advice that following Cabinet approval of proposals to invite heads of State and government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent invitations to inter-alia other countries in the Southern Africa Development Community to attend Zambia’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Several heads of State have showed that they will come to attend the celebrations,” he said.
Times of Zambia