Zambia: State to privatise Zamtel

ZAMTEL will be partly privatised in about four months time to save it from total collapse, Communications and Transport Minister, Dora Siliya said yesterday.

Addressing Zamtel workers at the Zamtel and Zampost staff college in
Ndola, Ms Siliya said an asset evaluation company to determine the
company's value and liabilities would be announced on Saturday this
week in Lusaka.

The evaluation is expected to be completed by Christmas and a strategic
equity partner will be found after a tender procedure by April next

Ms Siliya said that Government had realised that even though Zamtel was
dealing in a profitable sector, it had been operating on a loss for
many years.

I want to assure you that I have your welfare at heart and that you
have a partner in me. I am, therefore, asking for your total
cooperation on this matter, Ms Siliya said.

She said there was hope to get the best deal for the value of the
company and also the best deal for the workers even in the face of the
current global economic recession.

She said the new partner needed to bring in capital and a new structure
of doing things at the company as the current business structure and
the Government involvement was not helping the company.

Ms Siliya said communications and transport was a profitable sector but
that the Government was looking for a deal that would ensure that
Zambians still benefit from the international gateway.

It was also too early, Ms Siliya said, to determine if there would be
any retrenchments and hoped for a smooth transition like that of

Zamtel managing director Mukela Muyunda assured Ms Siliya of the company's total support.

National Union of Communication Workers president Patrick Kaonga said
in an interview that the union was in full support of a strategic
equity partner as long as jobs and financial security were guaranteed.


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