PF govt says hasn’t reversed sale of Zamtel as LAP Green vows to fight

Zambia’s government has not made any decision to nationalise a 75 percent stake in fixed line operator Zamtel that is held by Libya’s LAP Green Networks, Information Minister Given Lubinda said on Saturday.

Zambian privately-owned daily The Post Newspaper reported on Friday that the government had decided to cancel Zamtel’s sale to LAP Green. The investment arm of the Libyan African Portfolio (LAP) bought the stake for $257 million in June 2010.

“LAP Green should not respond to rumours, if they have correspondence from the government saying that the deal has been canceled, let them bring it forward,” Lubinda told Reuters.

A commission of inquiry appointed by Zambia’s new government found in November that the sale to LAP Green had been illegal and President Michael Sata said cabinet would decide whether to reverse the sale of the company.

LAP Green said on Friday it would fight any Zambian decision to reverse the sale and that it plans to invest $129 million in the company over the next two years.

“LAP GreenN is now under new leadership as part of broader changes in Libya. The new management is determined to safeguard its legally acquired assets, which ultimately belong to the Libyan people,” newly appointed Chairman Wafik Alshater said in a statement seen by Reuters on Saturday.

“We will pursue all options and do everything possible to retain our stake in Zamtel.”

LAP Green also has operations in Uganda, Ivory Coast and South Sudan.

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