Promoters of the Zambia- Angola Oil Pipeline (AZOP) Basali Ba Liseli Resources have claimed that information suggesting that President Edgar Lungu is involved in the deal to construct an oil pipeline from Lobito Bay in Angola to Lusaka is not true.
Reacting to yesterday’s front page story in the Post headlined “Lungu, Santos strike Oil Deal”, Basali Ba Liseli Resources says neither President Lungu nor his government are in anyway involved in the Oil deal.
Executive Chairman Wamulume Kalabo told a media briefing in Lusaka, he claimed that the oil deal in question is purely a private sector initiative.
He however says the deal requires the support of both the Angolan and Zambian governments.
Mr. Kalabo says this is particularly that no such business project of this nature and magnitude, whose total investment is about US45 Billion, involving two sovereign States can proceed without the blessing and explicit support of the two governments.
He has explained that following the Cabinet decision of June 29, 2015 to support the privately led Zambia-Angola Oil Pipeline initiative, President Lungu appointed a special envoy, State House Deputy Minister Mulenga Sata to deliver a message of support to the Oil Deal to his Angola Counterpart Jose Eduardo do Santos.
Mr. Kalabo states that Mr. Sata and himself being the Zambia- Angola Oil Pipeline Executive Chairman and in the company of government officials met President Santo on the 10th of August this year.
He notes that contrary to the said newspaper article, once constructed the Pipeline will in fact be able to deliver 100, 000 barrels per day of refined petroleum products into Zambia and not 50, 000 barrels.
Mr Kalabo says the fact that the Oil deal will eliminate the need for middlemen and shipping costs and thus significantly lower the cost of fuel pump prices, it is in the interest of Zambia and that of BBLR to acquire equity in the Lobito Refinery in order to ensure sustainability of affordable petroleum suppliers in the country. More investigation in the matter is still underway, however, it is highly likely that this is a corrupt deal with Lungu as one of the big beneficiaries.