The PF government through the corrupt Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is in the process of surrendering Indeni Refinery to a Nigerian company called Sahara Energy Resources.
Since last year, the PF government has been undertaking a fake search for what they call an equity partner in Indeni. The truth is that the PF has been looking for a foreign company to buy majority shares in Indeni and therefore take over the strategic parastatals itself.
Following an advert for such an ‘equity partner’ by the IDC, several companies submitted bids after being told that the successful bidder would buy 51% shares in Indeni while the government would retain 49%.
In April 2018, the IDC announced that five companies had been shortlisted for the next stage of selecting a strategic equity partner in Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited.
The five companies that were short listed are:
1. Glencore Energy Limited of the United Kingdom
2. China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation of China
3. Joint Stock Company Global Security of Russia
4. Sahara Energy Resources Limited of the United Kingdom; and
5. Beijing Huiersanji Green Chem – Tech Co. Ltd and Avic International Holding Corporation Consortium of China
IDC Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba told the world that five firms were then invited to submit their technical and financial proposals.
But all this process was pretentious. The corrupt elements running government and this particular ministry had already agreed to auction Indeni to Nigerians operating as Sahara.
The other firms were just used to launder the process and give it a semblance of legitimacy. We understand that Sahara is expected to sign the MoU very soon, worse still, Sahara will get 55% instead of the original 51% shares as envisaged at first. What this means is that Sahara will have absolute control of Indeni and will embark on a mission to destroy competitors. With absolute control of Indeni and supply of finished petroleum products, Sahara can hold the government to ransom.
It should also be noted that apart from assuming the running of Indeni, Sahara is already one of the major suppliers of both crude oil and white petroleum products to Zambia.
Just last month, the PF regime cancelled an ongoing oil supply contract with Independent Petroleum Group of Kuwait and gave it to Sahara, without following laying down tender procedure.