By Staff Writer
The Provisional Liquidator (PL) of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Milingo Lungu has demanded for an apology from News Diggers.
The News Diggers published a story on Monday, September 28, 2020 alleging actions of impropriety by the PL at the company.
Mr Lungu said the insinuation that he authorised payment of $1.6 million to a company Cashfin in which a relative allegedly had interest to supply Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to KCM is a total fabrication and borders on serious mischief.
He said the article is full of innuendos intended to bring his name into disrepute and discredit the ongoing liquidation process.
“I wish to categorically deny that am interested in Cashfin Limited, by myself or through any of my relatives. This fact can simply be verified by making a search at PACRA. In that regard, when the allegations first came to my attention, I took the step to report the matter to the Police so that the persons behind these allegations may be brought to book and as such the matter is the subject of an active Police investigation.
“The apparent insinuation of wrongdoing in KCM is a well-calculated and desperate attempt to cast aspersions on the person and my character as the Provisional Liquidator and create a picture of failure in the liquidation process, which is far from the truth. This is not the first time that such false allegations of impropriety have been made as can be proved from some of the headlines,” he said.
He said on the February 1, 2020, News Diggers reported that Mr Lungu had transferred K100 million from KCM accounts to his law firm, when this was not true, on July 11, 2019, the News Diggers falsely reported that ZRA had paid KCM over K95m in tax refunds, to pay liquidator’s legal fees.
Other stories on October 19, 2019, when the News Diggers reported that the Nchanga smelter had burnt down, when not and December 23, 2019, News Diggers again reported a fabricated story that several miners were trapped underground and the KCM was experiencing major maintenance problems since the liquidation process commenced.
“I have noted a systematic and consistent fabrication of stories against the company by the News Diggers, whose intention is to create falsehoods that there is failure in the managing the company. The News Diggers has intentionally chosen to print falsehoods to shore up the image of Vedanta Resources, when the shambolic management of KCM under Vedanta is actually the reason the government placed the company in liquidation.
“As the Provisional Liquidator and KCM Management will not be distracted by these falsehoods and will ensure they together continue to work towards a positive outcome of the liquidation process. Therefore, I demand an apology and complete retraction of the false story in the News Diggers,” he said