|Former republican Vice President Enoch Kavindele|
Former republican Vice President Enoch Kavindele has described as shameful the sale of 75 percent shares in ZAMTEL to Lap Green at 257 million United States (US) Dollars.
Mr. Kavindele stated that at the time of ZAMTEL’s sale, the market value for the telecommunications service provider was estimated at over 3 billion US dollars saying selling the parastatal company at a giveaway price of 257 million US dollars was unreasonable.
Mr. Kavindele who served as Vice President in the Chiluba and Mwanawasa governments said this in Lusaka today when he made his submissions before the Sebastian Zulu led Commission of Inquiry on the sale of ZAMTEL and the 98 million US dollar NAPSA deal.
And a former ZAMTEL employee Victor Mulenga has called for the immediate repossession and nationalization of ZAMTEL.
Mr. Mulenga who is among the over 2000 workers who lost their jobs after the sale of ZAMTEL said the transaction was not made in the interest of the nation hence the need for its speedy reversal.
“The previous government promised to protect our jobs and improve service delivery but after the transaction the opposite happened, over 2000 workers lost their jobs and the service became pathetic,” he pointed out.
And a former ZAMTEL Technical Director Wood Simbeye submitted that the previous government was responsible for the losses ZAMTEL made in the two years prior to the company’s sale to Lap Green.
Mr. Simbeye who worked for ZAMTEL for 22 years told the commission that the previous government was the worst settler of debts which in most cases exceeded K100 billion stretching over long periods of time.
He noted that during the time he served in ZAMTEL, the parastatal never made losses but instead accrued significant profits saying the previous government’s pronouncements that the service provider had been making losses for many years were baseless and unjustifiable.
And ZESCO Project Director for Kafue Gorge lower Christopher Mubemba narrated how ZESCO was forcefully made to sign an indivisible right of use agreement with ZAMTEL to make the telecommunications provider more attractive to potential buyers.
Mr. Mubemba said under the agreement ZAMTEL was to use ZESCO’s optic fibre network because ZAMTEL’s system was non functional.
He complained that the agreement which was signed on 17th December 2009 under extreme coercion from the previous government had stifled the expansion of the ZESCO network.
He told the commission that ZESCO got a raw deal from the agreement and intends to terminate the agreement by following the due process.
Submissions in the matter continue until Monday next week when the commission concludes its sittings.
Former Minister of Communications and Transport Dora Siliya who headed the ministry at the time of ZAMTEL’s sale is expected to appear before the commission tomorrow afternoon.