The government of Zambia has said that it will take over the running of Zamtel for the time being before floating shares to the public. Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda, is quoted by Times of Zambia as having informed journalists at a media briefing that “Zamtel was a viable company which the previous Government wanted to give away in a corrupt manner. ”
Mr Chikwanda said that the government would look to stabilise the state corporation before floating shares to the public. The government also said that it was looking at the interest of Zamtel employees.
“We shall recapitalize Zamtel and make it viable. Zamtel will be reverted to the Zambian people,” Chikwanda is reported to have said.
Meanwhile, President Michael Sata has said that no international court would entertain the sale of Zamtel because it was shrouded in corruption. The President said that LAP Green failed to meet three benchmarks as prescribed by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) in the sale process.
The President’s spokesman said that the said benchmarks which LAP Green Networks couldn’t meet are;
- A minimum of five years of licensed operation in the telecommunications industry (
- Have more than three million subscribers on fixed, mobile or fixed wireless networks
- A minimum of US$250 million Shareholders’ equity for private entities or a minimum market capitalization of US$500 million for public listed entities
Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission last week froze all Zamtel accounts except for one used for payment of salaries and daily operations.