DR Pius Kasolo says he has no hard feelings following his sacking from his position as Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holding (ZCCM-IM) executive director.
Mines minister Richard Musukwa announced the decision of ZCCM-IH board of directors to fire Dr Kasolo yesterday at State House.
In an interview, Dr Kasolo said he had received the letter terminating his services but “no reason for why I am fired [is] written on it”.
“I am just happy that I performed well for my country and I did my work hard at ZCCM; we turned it around from a loss making company, we have declared dividends in a row of millions of dollars. So I am very happy, I don’t have hard feelings, the President has the right to hire and fire,” Dr Kasolo said.
“The only thing I can tell him is really to thank him for giving me a chance, for letting me serve and for the support he gave me when we had our turbulent times at ZCCM; he supported me when we had cases of the mines at KCM and FQM, he really supported me and I really thank him for what he has done for me, may God bless him.”
He said now he has to think about what he would do next.
Dr Kasolo said in the meantime he would relax and spend time with his 93-year-old father.
“You know I have been travelling a lot now at least I can spend time with him and also go to the farm. You know I am a small-scale farmer, so I will be doing a bit of work there and then after that I will decide what to do. I am a professional so I will decide what to do,” he said.
However, Dr Kasolo said he was available to help in “whatever capacity the boss wants me to serve”.
“It doesn’t mean that I just have to be a CEO but any capacity the country wants me to help, especially in the turnaround of companies, I will be there to help the country,” he said.
Looking back over the years he was at the helm of ZCCM, Dr Kasolo said his record speaks for itself.
“You can check the figures, figures don’t lie and then the expansion. We have expanded, we have got shares in Maamba Power Station, 35 per cent, we’ve done a deal and we are building the biggest cement factory in Zambia, we have increased shareholding in CEC. We have done very well and I should commend my team, the team I found at ZCCM and the one I recruited, they have done wonders,” he said.
“So I think the Zambian people should appreciate the little I gave but as I said earlier, if it was not for the President I couldn’t have been a CEO, he gave me support and allowed me to serve, so I really appreciate that.”
On individuals who he said lied about him being against the new mine tax regime, Dr Kasolo said he had always wanted the most from the mines.
“I even proposed the ways we can get the most. I was even the first person who put in, from the time of President Michael Sata, the mineral monitoring system, I am the one who wrote a report about it, so all along I have been advocating that we get value from the mines. In fact, even ZCCM, in our strategic plan we are changing from dividends to other systems to get revenue from the mines, so I am a very patriotic Zambian. So I wouldn’t be against the government, no I wouldn’t,” Dr Kasolo said.
Earlier, Dr Kasolo said there were certain lies that were being peddled against him that he was against the government’s tax regime because he made a comment that if mines do this “since they are threatening to close it’s going to affect ZCCM-IM bottom-line, then people took that as me criticising mineral tax”.