By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
KONKOLA Copper Mines (in liquidation) has been sued in the Lusaka High Court by CMA CGM Zambia limited for alleged failure to settle a debt amounting to over K1 million. CMA CGM, a transport and logistics company, has thus applied for leave of the court to commence proceedings against the giant mining firm.
But KCM has asked the court to dismiss the application, stating that the outstanding debt could be resolved in the normal course of the liquidation proceedings. According to an affidavit, CMA CGM stated that on August 19, 2019, it wrote a demand letter for the recovery of K1, 479,583.55 debt from KCM. KCM responded through its legal counsel and acting company secretary Maxwell Mainsa acknowledging its indebtedness.
The mining firm proposed to liquidate the debt in two monthly installments before month end of October 2019. CMA CGM claimed that it again wrote a demand letter dated September 8, 2020 after KCM failed to pay off the debt. However, there was no response from KCM. “The respondent has not yet settled any amount of the outstanding balance to this date much to the applicant’s disconcertment and frustration,” it stated.
But KCM senior legal counsel, Glory Chipoya, submitted to court that CMA CGM has not given sufficient reasons to grant it leave. “Should this court grant the applicant’s application for leave to commence proceedings, the applicant would in effect be in a position to obtain an advantage above other creditors, thereby abrogating the order of priority.
“Denying this application would safeguard the assets of KCM and maintain the status quo for the purposes orderly administering KCM’s assets for the benefit of all creditors, including the applicant,” Ms Chipoya.