THE KITWE City Council (KCC) yesterday set bailiffs on Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) to recover the K54 million in property rates.
According to Daily Nation findings, the amount was accrued under the new valuation roll which the mining company has disputed The mining company had allegedly disputed the new valuation roll in which the local authority increased the property rates from K8million to K54million.
Under the new valuation roll which was approved by the rating tribunal, Mopani owes the local authority K54million property rates, hence its decision to set the bailiffs on the mining firm.
The bailiffs pounced on the Mopani Central Offices in Nkana West, with employees being caught unawares, but Copperbelt Permanent Secretary, Bright Nundwe intervened.
The Permanent Secretary had rushed to Mopani offices where he chaired a meeting attended by both parties.
During the meeting which was called to avert disruption of operations at the Central Offices, the mining firm immediately agreed to pay the K8million under the old valuation roll while negotiating on the new valuation roll were underway.
Mr Nundwe encouraged both parties to dialogue over the matter and ensure that there was flexibility in the way the rate payments were being administered.
“You both serve the people of Kitwe and so you should ensure that you dialogue over this issue in a flexible manner to avoid misunderstandings. You should look at the concerns of each other, especially this time of Covid-19,’’ Mr Nundwe said.
And Kitwe District Commissioner (DC) Chileshe Bweupe, who was in the company of the Copperbelt Permanent Secretary said he was hopeful that the two parties would resolve the matter over the new valuation roll.
Earlier, efforts by the Daily Nation to get the comment of Kitwe Town Clerk Mbulo Seke failed as his phone went unanswered.
On the other hand, Mopani Public Relations Manager, Nebert Mulenga, could not reply to a written press query, which he had asked from the Daily Nation Journalist.