THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has clarified claims that it has been subsidizing fuel following a static fuel rating the past four months.
The board says contrary to the claims, it has actually been using what it terms as a “Strategic Reserve Fund system”, which was created in 2005 to help sustain the petroleum industry in the country.
ERB board chairperson Reynolds Bowa said during a press briefing in Lusaka that Government has in no way been subsidizing fuel.
“There have been reports in the past few days to the effect that the Government of Zambia has been subsidizing fuel. This is categorically not true. There has been no subsidy of fuel. Perhaps I can give you a little background that will provide clarity in this regard. You may recall that prior to 2005, there were occasional fuel shortages in our country.”
“So, the Government at the time, took cognisance and decided it was unacceptable that this kind of thing should be happening. Therefore, the cabinet at the time, took a decision to create what was called the Strategic Reserve Fund,” he said.
Mr Bowa explained that the particular Fund was operationalized by ERB in December 2005.
He said with this project, everytime petroleum users acquired fuel in the country, they made a contribution of K1.50 to the Reserve.
“This Fund has been in place for roughly 19 years and the purpose is to support the development of the petroleum industry. Various projects have been undertaken utilizing this find and therefore as we speak, 19 years down the line, there are fuel storage depots in every provincial capital and the fund continues to be in existence for the use of the industry,” he said.
Mr Bowa noted that in this vain, in October last year, ERB decided to utilize the Fund to create stability and avoid shock in the market, seeing that fuel price had acquired a sudden increase.
He added that the decision was an authorized one, and in no way does it imply that fuel is being subsidized because the funds being used are those accumulated from citizens through the Reserve.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 24th January, 2024)
ACC nab senior accountant, businessman
A LUSAKA based senior accountant has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) alongside a business man for possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Kasemuka Chiteta, a senior accountant stationed at police headquarters has since been charged with one count of possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
ACC head of corporate communications Timothy Moono said in a statement that Kasemuka Chiteta on dates unknown but between 7th April, 2023 and 12th February 2024 in Lusaka District, concealed possession of a motor vehicle namely Toyota Landcruiser BAD4360 registered under the ownership of Chimuka Chibawe a Lusaka based businessman.
“In a similar development, the ACC has arrested and charged a Lusaka based businessman, Chimuka Chibawe of plot No. 136 C Kalomo road Chilenje” Mr Moono said.
He said Mr Chibawe has been charged with one count of Possession of Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime contrary to Section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.
“Details of the offence are that, Chimuka Chibawe on dates unknown but between 7th April, 2023 and 12thFebruary 2024 in Lusaka, concealed possession of a motor vehicle namely Toyota Landcruiser BAD4360 registered under his names when the beneficial owner is Mr. Kasemuka Chiteta a Senior Accountant at Police Service Headquarters,” he said.
The pair has since been released on bond pending court appearance.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 29th February, 2024)
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Delta Mines acquires 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines in $1.1 billion deal.
DELTA Mines Plc, has concluded the acquisition of 51% shareholding in Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) translating into a US$1.1 billion investment into the mine.
In a statement, ZCCM-IH Corporate Affairs Manager Loisa Mbatha said ZCCM-IH will retain 49% shares in Mopani, with 3 out of 9 board seats while Delta will have 5 and government one seat
She said the approval was made during a Shareholder’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Lusaka last week.
“ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) shareholders have unanimously approved the Mopani Copper Mines Plc (Mapani) transaction where Delta Mining Limited (Delta), a subsidiary of International Resource Holdings (IRH), has agreed to acquire a 51% shareholding in Mopani for a total investment of up to US$1.1 billion,”she said.
ZCCM-IH Board Chairperson Kakenenwa Muyangwa said the transaction is a landmark achievement that delivers significant value to ZCCM-H, Mopani, and the Zambian people.
“It’s pleasing to note that IRH has committed to retain Zambian workers, including the management team, who will be complimented by new skills and expertise from Delta to facilitate the expansion of MCM production to 200, 000 tonnes per annum”, said Mr Muyangwa.
ZCCM-IH Board Director Phillippe Taussac who represents minority shareholders said that “the extinguishing of the Mopani $1.5billion debt that ZCCM-IH had guaranteed, will certainly lead to significantly improved financial performance for all ZCCM-H’s shareholders.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 27th February, 2024)