Power and Politics

Coalition claims majority shareholder in Mopani Mine, IRH, has no mining history, blames Hichilema


The United Kwacha Alliance (UKA) says the whole Mopani deal smells of white collar organized plunder of national assets under President Hakainde Hichilema’s leadership.

UKA Chairperson for Communications, Jackson Silavwe, warned Hichilema that the law was not to be circumvented or flouted for personal or political gain.

Silavwe told Journalists in a statement in Lusaka on Wednesday that this move sets a dangerous precedence that undermined the very fabric of the country’s democracy.

He said that there was no doubt that in future, the irregularly acquired national asset, Mopani Copper Mine would be repossessed without recompense.

“Both President Hichilema and the Abu Dhabi investor, International Resources Holding (IRH) will be prosecuted,” Silavwe warned.

He stated that in a disturbing display of impunity, the President and his government had violated the law by selling 51 percent shares in Mopani to a 2022 registered entity without following the mandatory process.

Silavwe cited that as stipulated by Article 210 of the Zambian Constitution, any such sale should be tabled before parliament for a vote, requiring a two-thirds majority in favor.

“This blatant disregard for the Constitutional protocols on National assets disposal raises serious concerns about Hichilema and his government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law,” he said.

Read More: Confidence renewed in Zambia’s economy as Abu Dhabi investor, IRH, formally takes over Mopani mine

Silavwe added that it was clear that the investor would not bring in any ‘new’ external funding but would be paying for this asset using cash-flows from Mopani operations as it was in the case of KCM’s Vedanta.

He expressed believe that there was no need to sell 51 percent in Mopani to a company with no traceable mining history.

“We urge our citizens, to demand for accountability from the new dawn administration. President Hichilema must take responsibility for his government’s actions on Mopani and rectify this flagrant violation,” Silavwe advised.

According to transaction details, International Resource Holding (IRH) has 51 percent shares in Mopani while ZCCM-IH retained 49 percent shares.

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