Francis Kaunda on noisy Nawakwi

Francis Kaunda on noisy Nawakwi

Excerpts from Francis Kaunda‘s book “Selling the Family Silver: The Zambian Copper Mines Story” (2002)

“The PNT [GRZ/ZCCM Privatization Negotiation Team] members who went to Canada, particularly myself as Chairman, did not endear themselves to [Finance Minister Edith] Nawakwi for refusing to sign the so-called agreement. But the brush with Carlington Sales Company was by no means the only time I encountered an obstreperous [noisy]Nawakwi.”

“While we were in talks with Avmin in London, I was with the Attorney General [Bonaventure] Mutale one evening when I was summoned to the reception desk to answer a call from Zambia. Nawakwi was on the line and she proceeded to berate me over the same issue for over one hour. This was my second experience with her tantrums.”

“Can I have more details such as terms of reference, background and the proposals from these mining houses?” I asked Nawakwi. She gave me none apart from observing that I appeared reluctant to proceed with the programme in spite of worsening problems at ZCCM.”

“Monday morning she phoned again and asked, “Are you still in Lusaka, when you should be in Montreal?”

“You people are delaying the sale of these mines for personal gain”, she shrieked.

“I then told her to ask one of the permanent secretaries on the team to sign, which she did not do.”

“Menashe then sued the government of Zambia for compensation of $10 million. A UK firm was hired to defend Zambia and the English court threw out the case. I was left to wonder what exactly Nawakwi’s hysteria had been about.”

“I was later to learn that Nawakwi had signed an agreement to retain the services of Carlington Sales Company to facilitate the privatisation of some of ZCCM’s mining assets , for an undisclosed fee.

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