President Michael Sata’s government in collaboration with the cartel holding him hostage has started planning on how to nationalize the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) the Zambian Watchdog has learnt.
According to senior sources in the government, plans are under way to nationalize the company that supplies power to the mines because it may have corruptly been privatized. The source said the cartel also suspects that CEC is behind the financing of the People’s Party headed by former Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti.
The source further said President Sata believes that former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa together with Lusaka businessman Abel Mkandawire were influential in off-loading government shares to the private sector during the late President Mwanawasa government.
The source said it is alleged that President Sata has received information from the cartel indicating that Felix Mutati then Minister of Energy together with Maureen and Mkandawire influenced the offloading of shares held by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to majority shareholders when then President Mwanawasa was out of the country.
The source said when Mwanawasa came back he transferred Mutati to the Ministry of Commerce,Trade and Industry. Mutati’s elder brother Emmanuel is also a shareholder of CEC.
The source said Sata armed with this information together with allegations of the company financing Mulongoti has since constituted a committee to look into the possibility of nationalising CEC. The source said Sata will however use an economic reason to justify the development. “What they want to say is that CEC is just an overhead cost to the mines as they can buy power directly from ZESCO limited. “Further they are saying mines are giving an excuse of high electricity costs as contributing to the high cost of production that may lead to job losses so government can save jobs by reducing costs for the mines and one such move is to give CEC to ZESCO” the source said.