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Monday, 1 July 2013

Another Nationalisation

Government has nationalised Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens in Chilanga. The South African investors have been given a six-month notice before ZAWA finally takes over the running of the institution. (Source : Times of Zambia).

Tourism PS George Zulu says Government is nationalising the institution because of the "failure by current investors to honour the Tourist Concession Agreement (TCA) which was signed in 1998...Government through ZAWA will in the meantime run Munda Wanga until we find a suitable investor to run the institution.”

The current investors took over Munda Wanga in 1998 after signing a TCA with the then ruling MMD Government. The TCA states that when the investor’s activities are seriously deficient in terms of obligations under the agreement, Government shall have the right to terminate the agreement.

Zambian Watchdog had revealed last month that the Munda Wanga nationalisation was imminent. The Watchdog has again proved to be an impeccable source despite its raw language. Which is why it's recent revelations on Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) needs to be taken equally seriously.

The Zambian Watchdog revealed last week that GRZ is planning to nationalise the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). According to their sources in government, "plans are under way to nationalise the company that supplies power to the mines because it may have corruptly been privatised". 

The corruption allegations apparently occurred during the Mwanawasa government. Watchdog sources say President Sata has allegedly received information indicating that Felix Mutati together with Maureen and Mkandawire influenced the offloading of shares held by ZCCM-IH to majority shareholders when President Mwanawasa was out of the country. When Mwanawasa came back he transferred Mutati to the Ministry of Commerce. Mutati’s elder brother Emmanuel is also a shareholder of CEC.

The nationalisation of CEC would certainly send electric shocks. The obvious step is to institute a public inquiry before such steps are taken. But then, why stop at CEC? Many of the parastatal companies were sold corruptly. At present we can't tell fact from fiction until a full public inquiry is unstructured into the entire privatisation process.

This should not just be a question for bloggers and academics to muse about. The country needs the truth of that dark era to be in the public. And to learn lessons from it. That is the only way we can move forward.

Chola Mukanga | Economist | Writer
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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