By Richard Waga
When an attorney general succumbs to political pressure too often, embarrassment and quandary is inevitable.
– An instruction from the president at an airport rally set a political tone to this KCM repossession
– Shockingly lawyers arrived at liquidation as a mode of disengaging Vedanta
– Then lawyers shockingly overlooked the shareholder agreement
– An inexperienced liquidator with PF links was appointed
– Then President casually indicates to journalist that a buyer will soon be announced.
– A chinese firm makes semblance of a due diligence visit at KCM
– Later we heard that a negotiating team was instituted, which was strange because their was no preferred buyer(s) yet.
– Vedanta reminds our incompetent lawyers on the arbitration provision and win case in SA
– Ignorant Minister on Mines says SA court have no jurisdiction. Clueless we are affiliated to the commission of international law on trade
– High Court refuses to recognise the SA ruling, something that could also be in conflict with the UN commission guidelines for arbitration
– It starts to dawn on government that you cant sell a mine like an unoccupied toilet, ati “mulibe banthu ngenani”
– Govt losses appeal in SA at huge legal costs
– Vedanta can now breath in a less hostile process in SA.
– Zambian lawyers must now have strong legal arguments during arbitration. Not these ones they have been using that our people! our people!
– In hindsight this decision was motivated by populism, there was no due diligence or weighing of alternative options.
The reality check is
– No business can buy an asset as big as KCM in 6 months
– Has govt prepared a data room for prospective buyers to assess KCM Info? What time has govt given themselve to study the buyers? What time have they provided to negotiate? Are we looking at two years before deal is closed? Two years of govt run mine can be is kerfuffle.
– No business can sign a contract for a company clouded with legal disputes
– Businesses will have difficulties supplying inputs and equipment to a company that is in legal contention
In conclusion this was a careless gamble by government. The sooner they accept, the sooner they will find a better solution.
It is not about supporting vedanta, it about doing the right thing.