Vice President Inonge Wina has directed the security wings to investigate Kuznetsov’s disappearance while his former employers have issued a statement saying his contract was terminated.
“I am here to engage our security forces in the incident that took place in the mining area, that of a kidnapping of a mine executive of Russian origin is not pleasing to government because the whole matter undermines the security of our country,” said Wina who is acting President.
“I want the police to investigate the matter thoroughly together with the immigration department to find out the truth about this matter. I hope the truth will come out after thorough investigations.”
Below is the statement issued by the mining firm:
ARTICLE ON ABDUCTION OF RUSSIAN FALSE AND MISLEADING*
Gemcanton wishes to dismiss as utterly false the article published in the
Daily Nation edition of Monday, January 14, 2019 titled Russian Abducted?
The Daily Nation in its false article insinuates that Gemcanton abducted and deported one of its employees, Mr Sergey Kuznetsov.
We put the record straight that Gemcanton reserves the right to employ and terminate the contract of any employee who goes into conflict with the laid down Company regulations and Mr Kuznetsov is no exception in this regard.
Gemcanton followed the normal procedure of termination of contract for Mr
Kuznetsov and as an expatriate, his work permit was withdrawn as per laid down company procedure. All Company properties under his custody were withdrawn and theses included the much-highlighted laptop.
Contrary to assertions that he was abducted and subsequently deported, we state that Mr Kuznetsov was provided with a plane ticket back to Russia, his home country, after termination of contract. It is false and misleading to report that Mr Kuznetsov was abducted and deported because his services were terminated on 7th January 2019 and he only left the country on the 11th January 2019.
Mr Kuznetsov’s employment contract was terminated chiefly because he failed to account for the loss of 4,869 grammes of gemstones valued at $317,095.36 during the gemstone auction sale held at Intercontinental Hotel on 15th December 2018 which was under his charge. When questioned by the Chief Executive Officer to exculpate himself over the loss of the gemstones during a management meeting held on Monday 7th January 2019, Mr Kuznetsov completely failed to account and explain what transpired.
Earlier in August 2018, Mr Kuznetsov under-priced a certain parcel that was sent to a customer known to him and the company lost $13,485. This indicates that Mr Kuznetsov caused the company losing out income.
In conclusion, Gemcanton would like to state that the action taken is in the best interest of the company whose very existence is threatened if such subversive elements are allowed to continue operating within the company.
We further wish to stress that Gemcanton employs over 1000 employees and supports over 1000 Zambian suppliers and on average over 15,000 Zambians depend on the existence of the company for survival.
This does not leave out the community of Lufwanyama, which benefits from investments through the Company’s Social Corporate Responsibility programme.
We request the media, in particular the Daily Nation, which carried false headlines on Saturday, January 12, 2019, titled Russian Deported and Monday, January 14, 2019 titled Russian Abducted? To verify, and balance their information to avoid misleading and misinforming the nation.