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Sunday, 6 June 2010


The price Libya parastatal LAP Green Networks has agreed to pay government for 75 percent of ZAMTEL. According to Finance Minister Musokotwane. LAP Green also agreed to provide $62 million to finance part of Zamtel’s network expansion and to guarantee $75 million in loans. A “substantial part” of the money raised will apparently go to redundancy packages for some of Zamtel’s 2,341 employees.

In the meantime PF president Michael Sata has maintained that once the UPND-PF pact gets in power, they will grab ZAMTEL and ZANACO from new owners. I have previously noted that this is unsurprising and holds important lessons on the importance of consultation in fostering more stable contracts.


  1. Hi Cho,

    Great radio interview on Zambia Blogtalk Radio. I also liked the interview with Robert Sichinga - he sounds like he would make a great minister.

    Just a quip, but I don't like the word 'grab', it has been abused too much in the anti-Zimbabwean propaganda campaign.

    I would liken the 'sale' of ZAMTEL to a wife selling her husband's Mercedes Benz behind his back, for the price of the ring she always wanted. When he finds out and takes his car back, is he really grabbing 'a car', or is he annulling what is an illegal transaction?

    What are the Libyans thinking they can come to Zambia and buy 75% of the national telco for $257 million (that would value 100% of ZAMTEL at $342 million. I would imagine ZAMTEL's realestate alone would be worth that much.

    Isn't it clear that the MMD is holding a fire sale to enrich themselves, in their dying days in power?

    I think it is perfectly legitimate for the official opposition to draw a line in the sand and say - unless this sale is extensively discussed in parliament, we are going to annull it. That would give the Libyans more than fair notice. It would massively improve democracy itself.

  2. The problem with Sata and the rest of the opposition is their misplaced belief that they can only influence or change govt policy when they are in power. Sata knew that the privatisation of ZAMTEL was in process but during this time he and his party did completely nothing. Why didnt Sata use Parliament to have this issue throughly dissected so as to come up with a privatisation formula that is acceptable to him and his party?
    I also dont understand the basis of his threats to renationalise ZAMTEL and ZANACO. In my opinion the two are different. Compared to other privatised parastatals; I am actually very satisfied with the ownership structure of ZANACO. This is the only ex parastatal that has a substantial chunk of its shares (26%)been traded on LUSE. Besides the govt still owns 25% of the Bank. Compare this to Zambia Sugar and Lafarge Zambia which are 90 percent foreign owned and only 10% of each company's shares are traded. Sata should explain to Zambians what model he has in mind for the companies he is going to renationalise.

    The privatisation process in Zambia has been a botched affair. In other African countries, like Kenya, the government privatises parastatals through their local stock exchange. A big chunk of Safaricom shares, for example, were offloaded on the Nairobi Stock exchange affording locals the opportunity to buy stock. Only after this; was Vodafone allowed to buy 50% of the company at the market rate. In Zambia we always go into secret negotiations with 'investors' and get ripped off in the process. The MMD govt should have offloaded 45% of ZAMTEL on LUSE and then invite bidders for the remaining 55% of the company.

  3. The GSM infrastructure and license alone are worth more than the agreed sell price.
    Another company sold for a song!

  4. Zamtel sale is plunder – Sata
    By Patson Chilemba
    Tue 08 June 2010, 11:30 CAT

    THE sale of Zamtel is plunder, Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata has charged.

    And Sata warned Frederick Chiluba that he only has 15 months left to abuse the people of Zambia because his future is very bleak.

    Commenting on the government’s decision to sell 75 per cent shares in Zamtel to Libya's Lap Green Network, a transaction from which RP Capital Partners would get about US $12.8 million, Sata said the sale of Zamtel was another form of plunder of national resources, and President Rupiah Banda would have to answer for it.

    “They have sold Zamtel because of commission, nothing else. It is not because of the benefit to Zambians. So the Zambian people will not get anything out of it," Sata said.


  5. MrK, the one thing I have never heard in Sata’s declaration to “take back” companies on the behalf of Zambians is how this will be done. Is he currently working with those with the knowledge and expertise to run such companies? Or will these companies be taken only to run by PF cadres and party loyalists? Also, does his threat extend to those that were sold shabbily during the Chiluba administration of which he was a part?

  6. Frank,

    I am actually very satisfied with the ownership structure of ZANACO

    Indeed. I think it went okay.


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