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Mopani must get full power supply – Court

THE Kitwe High Court has granted Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) an interim injunction restraining the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) against restricting power supply to the

mining firm until the matter is determined by the court.
This is in a case in which MCM has sued CEC and Zesco as first and second defendants, respectively. CEC has been restricting power supply to MCM since Friday last week.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Kitwe High Court, MCM also wants the court to make a declaratory order that the attempt by CEC to obtain tariff increment outside the process that is clearly outlined in the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) is null, void, and unlawful.
The mining firm also wants CEC to pay damages for breach of contract arising from the manner CEC has attempted to obtain a tariff increment outside the process stipulated in the PSA entered into between the defendant and the plaintiff.
MCM is seeking interest or any sum found to be due to them in addition to costs and any other relief that the court may deem fit.
It contends that in March 2005, it entered into a PSA with CEC that subsequently underwent two amendments in 2008 and 2015, and that clause 3.3 of the power purchase agreement outlines the process that is supposed to be followed in effecting a tariff increment.
MCM argues that CEC proposed a tariff increment in January this year following proposals from the Ministry of Energy, but the plaintiff stated that needed to consult in line with the provisions of the PSA.
MCM stated that no agreement has been reached between it and CEC regarding the issue of the tariff increment as negotiations have been on going.
MCM said by their conduct, CEC and Zesco have breached a fundamental provision of the PSA, and as a result of their action, the plaintiff has suffered loss and damage.
High Court judge Timothy Katanekwa granted MCM an injunction to restrain CEC from reducing power supply to the mining firm pending hearing of the inter parte summons, or until further order of the court.
He further ordered Zesco not to restrict power supply to CEC until the matter is fully determined by the court.