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Friday, 11 March 2011

What now for ZAMTEL?

An important development :

The European Union has agreed to extend its economic sanctions against Libya to include the country's sovereign wealth fund and central bank. Three other financial "entities" will also be targeted. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) wealth fund holds about $70bn (£43bn) and has stakes in a number of large European companies. The US has already frozen about $30bn of Libyan assets, including those of the LIA and central bank.

An EU spokesperson said: "The funds and economic resources of the five designated entities will be frozen and an additional name will be added to the list of 26 individuals deemed responsible for the violent crackdown on the civilian population since 15 February and subject to an asset freeze." The extended sanctions will come into force on Friday.
The reason why this matters is that Libyan Investment Authority owns ZAMTEL. LAP Green Network is part of the Libya - Africa Investment Portfolio, which is part of the Libyan Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund for Libya. There are fears that people will now steal the various parts of Libya - the sanctions aside.

In the meantime, South Africa has frozen all Libyan assets on its soil :
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has ordered the Treasury to freeze assets linked to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his associates, a government official said on Friday. "The process is underway and we are writing letters informing them that no money will be allowed to leave South Africa," foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela, said without offering further details.

Local daily Business Day said the money is invested through the $5 billion Libya Arab Africa Investment Co (Laaico), through Libya Oil Holdings, Libya African Investment Portfolio and Libyan Foreign Investment Company (Lafico).

In South Africa, it owns Ensemble Hotel holdings, including the luxury Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg. Libya holds billions of dollars in assets in Africa through subsidiaries of its $70 billion sovereign wealth fund. The South African presidency said on Wednesday that Gaddafi called Zuma "to explain his side of the story". The statement said: "South Africa has openly condemned the loss of life and attacks on civilians and reported violations of human rights in Libya."
The questions : What is the government's current assessment of the situation? What are we doing about the situation? Zambians deserve answers to these questions.

2 comments:

  1. Most probably, the Zambian government is still 'studying' the situation. Or may be, it will take any action that is 'recommended' by the African Union!

    Honestly, I doubt that this is an issue that the govt is bothered about. Zamtel to them is now Libya's problem. It is upto the Libyans and their Ugandan Zamtel management to decide the way forward for the company.

    And if the way the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) has run their Ugandan unit is the blueprint for the way ZAMTEL is been managed, then I suspect all investments in ZAMTEL projects have come to a stand still. The LIA has no strategic vision for the way it funds the business activities of its units. It behaves like a stingy Zambian husband who makes his wife to repeatedly go back to him for monies for this and that instead of just working out how much is needed to run their home for a month and putting a lump sum on the table.

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  2. Doesn't this show how the whole neoliberal globalisation fantasy is falling to pieces?

    I was suspicious about what was going on in Egypt, because I don't believe in spontaneous organisation, and we have seen the CIA sponsored 'color revolutions' before. But I am willing to entertain the idea that their revolution could have spun out of the control of whoever planned or conceived it.

    However, what is going on in Libya looks more like a naked power play between the Anglosaxons (US/UK), France and China. When the 'protesters' have enough military know-how to ward off the Libyan army, and when they are now dubbed 'rebels' instead of 'protesters', and when the SAS intervenes on the 'rebels' behalf...

    So who knows what is really going on in Libya, but I know that ZAMTEL should not be in anyone's hands except the Zambian government's.

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