Sunday, July 27, 2014

Zamtel disconnects KCM over K8m bill
By Joan Chirwa-Ngoma
Sat 18 Jan. 2014, 14:00 CAT

KONKOLA Copper Mines has lost critical underground communication network after Zamtel disconnected the service yesterday owing to a debt of more than K8 million accrued over a year.

Sources have disclosed that Zamtel had no option but to disconnect Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)'s emergency phone lines being used for communication underground after holding a series of meetings to find ways of settling the outstanding bill.

This means that the country's biggest mine will carry out its underground operations without emergency communication lines until the bill is settled.

"Big as they are, KCM now have no emergency communication service. Meetings were held at a high level between KCM and Zamtel for the mine to settle the bill, but nothing has happened so far. This is why Zamtel's management decided to just cut off the service until the bill is settled. This has been outstanding from January last year (2013)," said the source.

Another source said KCM had always been telling stories about the debt.

"They are nuisance; they are always telling stories about reconciling the debt. They have not paid for over a year. They have so far committed small amounts so that we can re-connect them but we cannot consider that," said another source.

KCM's public relations department could not respond to a query by press time.

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