GOVERNMENT has repossessed the moribund Kawambwa Tea Company (KTC) in Luapula Province following a directive by President Edgar Lungu to have the estate revived and create jobs for the people.
Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali said in an interview yesterday that KTC would be managed by the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) and fresh resources would be invested in the firm to fully revive operations.
Mr Chimbwali said the Government took over the estate from the Erstwhile investor, Gombe Holdings of Zimbabwe, and 120 hectares of over-grown tea had since been secured for processing ahead of sale.
“Kawambwa Tea is now in the hands of the Government following a directive by the President for a compulsory acquisition of the property left by the investor who abandoned it.
“While there are some legal processes yet to be concluded, the acquisition went ahead because Government wants to bring life to the estate so that our people in and around Kawambwa can have jobs and a better livelihood,” Mr Chimbwali said.
He said ZAFFICO had competent resources to make the industry productive and the more than 400 existing staff at KTC had received the news of the acquisition with great relief.
He said the estate would be replenished with equipment to expand operations and increase productivity which would also enhance value-addition.
Mr Chimbwali, who was with President Lungu during a meeting with Luapula chiefs at State House last Thursday, said the Head of State had also directed the revival of the rubber industry in Nchelenge District.