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Zambia's govt to cough up US$382m over Zamtel saga

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 30 Oct 2017

Zambia's govt to cough up US$382m over Zamtel saga

Zambia's government has confirmed plans to pay US$382 million it owes Libya's LapGreen Network in compensation over the Zamtel saga.

Last month, LapGreen Network threatened to take the Southern African country's government to the International Court of Arbitration over the compensation and seize the country's assets abroad in order to recover its money.

The Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said the government had resolved to compensate LapGreen Network in compliance with the Zambian High Court order following a consent judgement between the Libyan company and the Zambian government.

"Mr. Speaker, the issue of LapGreen Network was determined by the Lusaka High Court and LapGreen Network was awarded compensation. The government is now dealing the matter of compensation," Mutati said.

He did not say when the payment will be made or how much the initial payment will be, but a source at the Ministry of Finance has told ITWeb Africa that the plan is to make the payment in full before the end of the second quarter next year, since the government had defaulted on the payment arrangement as per the settlement agreement.

In 2012, the current Zambian administration forcibly took over Zamtel's operations from LapGreen Network claiming that the 75% shares the company owned were corruptly sold by the previous administration.

LapGreen Network denied any wrong doing in the manner it acquired the company.

LapGreen Network then took the matter to the Zambian High Court where the government failed to defend itself and instead decided to enter a consent judgement to compensate the Libyan company its initial investment in Zamtel amounting to US$252 million plus interest calculated at 8% and other charges.

According to the settlement agreement, the Zambian government was supposed to make an initial payment of US$114 million in November 2016, followed by biannual payments of US$35 million in February 2017 and August 2017 respectively.

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