In the interest of justice, preserve KCM’s business and undertaking – Vedanta submits in the High Court
By Staff Reporter
VEDANTA Resources Holdings Limited, the majority shareholder of Konkola Copper Mines, have submitted in the Lusaka High Court that in the interest of justice, KCM’S business and undertaking should be preserved, maintained and protected from jeopardy pending the hearing and determination of the winding up petition.
In a combined affidavit in opposition to summons to set aside notice of intention to appear on the petition filed in court and to discharge an ex parte order to stay certain powers of provisional liquidator, Vedanta’s authorised representative Herman Uys stated that ZCCM-IH, the one that commenced the winding up proceedings, was the minority shareholder with 20. 6 per cent shares in KCM.
He stated that the contributor (Vendata) was a majority shareholder in the KCM holding 79. 4 of the shareholding in KCM representing 872,569,649 ordinary shares.
Uys stated that he read the ruling of court dated June 20, 2019 which held that the Corporate Insolvency Act no. 9 of 2017 allows a party that filed a notice of intention to appear at the hearing of a winding up petition to bring an application including an interlocutory application at any time prior to the hearing of the petition.
He stated that in line with the ruling of the court , on June 21, 201, the contributor filed into court a notice of intention to appear on the hearing of the petition and made an interlocutory application to stay some of the powers of the provisional liquidator.
Uys stated that on May 21, 2019 when the petitioner filed the notice of winding up KCM, they stated that any contributory of the said company desirous to support or oppose the making of an order on the said
petition may appear at the time of the hearing and any person who intends to appear on the hearing of the said petition must through his or her lawyers save or send by post to the undersigned a notice in writing of his intention to do so.
Uys contended that the ZCCM-IH has not yet advertised the petition in accordance with the requirement of Winding Up Rules.
He stated that ZCCM-IH can not be permitted both in law and equity to rely on its own default in advertising a petition to the contributors detriment.
Uys stated that the fact that Lungu was opposing any restriction on his powers shows that there is a clear and manifest risk that ZCCM-IH acting through the provisional liquidator using the powers outlined in the ex parte order of the court dated May 21, 2019 could dispose of all or a material party of the asset and or part of the entire business of KCM without getting the petition heard.
‘’The fact that the petitioner has failed to advertise the petition suggest that this may be the petitioner’s intention,” Uys stated.
He submitted that in the interest of justice, KCM’S business and undertaking should be preserved, maintained and protected from jeopardy pending the hearing and determination of the winding up petition.
Meanwhile, KCM provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu has submitted that the winding up petition has been hampered by various interlocutory applications with Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited, a non party, being responsible for a good number of them.
Lungu stated that the purported press articles relating to his supposed intention “to sale” KCM or its assets to other foreign investors are speculative and not attributable to him.
Opposition Vedanta’s application that some of his powers as provisional liquidator be stayed, Lungu stated that the position of Vedanta that he may be moving to dispose of KCM’s assets was not based on fact.
He stated that the depositions by Vedanta were not correct and that he has not permitted or acquiesced to any due diligence assessment as deposed to by Vedanta’s representative Herman Uys or at all.
Lungu also stated that the names of the alleged informant third parties to the said Vedanta regarding the
allegations have not been disclosed.
He stated that the progress of winding up petition of KCM has been hampered by various interlocutory applications accusing Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited, a non party of being responsible for a good number of the applications.