Zambian government confirms intention to pay LAP GreenN for Zamtel renationalisation
3 November 2017
Zambia’s government has reportedly confirmed it will pay USD382 million in compensation to LAP Green Network (LAP GreenN) related to the state’s forceful reclamation of a 75% stake in Zambia Telecommunications Company. According ITWeb Africa, last month LAP GreenN threatened to take the Zambian government to the International Court of Arbitration over the matter, saying it had yet to receive any of the funds it was owed. Prior to that, LAP GreenN had sought a decision regarding compensation from the Zambian High Court, where the government ultimately opted to enter a consent judgement to compensate the Libyan outfit with its initial investment in Zamtel, amounting to USD252 million, plus interest calculated at 8%, and other charges. As per the settlement agreement, the Zambian government had been expected to make an initial payment of USD114 million in November 2016, followed by biannual payments of USD35 million in February and August this year, respectively.
In the latest twist, the Zambian finance minister Felix Mutati has been cited as saying the government does indeed intend to comply with the High Court order, saying: ‘The issue of [LAP GreenN] was determined by the Lusaka High Court and [LAP GreenN] was awarded compensation. The government is now dealing the matter of compensation.’ However, he stopped short of confirming when the payment would be made, or how much any initial payment might be, though the report cites an unnamed source at the Ministry of Finance as saying that the plan is to make the payment in full before the end of the second quarter of 2018, having defaulted on the originally agreed payment arrangement.