Court orders KCM to pay CEC $30m

The Lusaka High Court has ordered Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) to with immediate effect pay the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) over US$30 million it owes the electricity company.

This is in a case in which KCM was sued by CEC for failure to pay US$30,923,091 debt for the electricity supplied to the mining company over the years.

Delivering ruling on Wednesday 3rd September 2014, High Court Judge William Mweemba ordered and directed the mining firm to make payments to the energy company of all issued invoices as presented on or before the due dates.

Judge Mweemba said the mining firm should pay the debt in accordance with the Power Supply Agreement that the two companies entered into on March 31 2000, whose invoices date up to April 2014.

Judge Mweemba further said the two parties should take note that the inter-parte hearing for the application would be heard towards the end of September.

CEC issued restriction notice in accordance with the power supply agreement on 22 April this year after KCM’s alleged default.

But on the same date KCM obtained an interim Order of injunction restraining CEC whether by itself, servants, agents, employees or however described from restricting, suspending, disconnecting or in any manner interrupting electricity supply to the mining company until final determination of the arbitration.

Last week CEC told the Lusaka High Court that the failure by KCM to settle the over US$30million debt risked the power company running into bankruptcy. The CEC was demanding for interest, costs and any other relief the court may deem fit for failure by KCM to pay the debt for supply of electricity pursuant to the power supply agreement made between the two firms.