Zambian Government Nationalises Zamtel

Telecoms

The Za­mbian government has confirmed expectations and will renationalise the local mobile network, Zamtel, which is 75% owned by Libya's Lap Green Networks. The government has also dissolved the board of directors and appointed its own interim CEO. Zamtel's bank accounts were also frozen last week in an allegedly unrelated investigation into money laundering claims, which the company denies.

The previous government sold the 75% stake in Zamtel to Lap Green Networks in 2010 for US$257 million - a figure which the then-opposition claimed was substantially below the book value for the company.

An inquiry last November commissioned by the new government ruled the transaction illegal.

In a statement, Lap Green Networks said "Over the last few weeks, we have made numerous attempts to find an amicable solution that satisfies all the parties involved and secures the best possible outcome for our employees and subscribers."

"We regret that the Zambian Government has not given us an opportunity to meet and discuss this matter."