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MINES OWE ZESCO $800M FROM DISPUTED INVOICES AND INABILITY TO PAY

By ADRIAN MWANZA

MINING firms owe Zesco Limited over US$800 million in disputed arrears hence the company grappling with operations, Zesco Senior Public Relations Manager John Kunda has said.

And Zesco has announced that it has commenced power restrictions to KCM due to the outstanding arrears the mining firms have.

The company has directed Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to only supply 80 megawatt until further notice.

The company has directed Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to only supply 80 megawatt until further notice.

Dr Kunda said disputed invoices and the inability to pay, by mining companies such as KCM, FQM as well as the CRC, had resulted in these entities owing Zesco a combined US$886 million as at August 2021.

He said this had compounded the financial challenges being faced by the power utility company. 

Dr Kunda said in an interview that KCM alone was owing about US$173 million of the total amount owed by mines.

He also said Zesco was owed in excess of US$ 39 million by the central government; water utility companies; local authorities and parastatals to name a few.

“Zesco is owed that much by these firms which is a challenge for us to operate properly as an entity,” Dr Kunda said.

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