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Zambia: ‘Review oil procurement’


Zambia Daily Mail

By ESTHER MSETEKA

May 6th, 2013

THE Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) has advised Government to revise the oil procurement process by making it more transparent and efficient.
Last week, Government increased the price of petrol and diesel by KR1.75 (K1, 750) per litre and KR1.63 (K1, 630) litre respectively while kerosene has been adjusted upward by KR1.68 (K1, 680). But, EAZ president Isaac Ngoma said fuel, being a key factor in production and delivery of goods has a significant bearing on the cost structure of consumer prices. Mr Ngoma said there is need to curtail middle-men in the procurement process of for the commodity to be bought at a reasonable price.

“EAZ is of the view that the oil procurement process must be revised to make it more transparent and efficient so that we can procure the product at a good price from credible sources without middle men being involved,” he said.

Mr Ngoma said this in a press response in Lusaka recently. He said the association stands to support economically sound measures that may seem to hurt the nation in the short-term but have pronounced benefits in the long-run.
He said Government has explained the rationale behind the increase, thus the removal of the subsidy which has been in place for a long time.

“We all must know that such subsidies are unsustainable for a small economy like ours and has for a long time imposed significant pressure on the treasury.
The meager resources available are much needed to meet other social needs like in health and education,” he said. Mr Ngoma, however, said due to the raise in fuel prices there is an anticipated increase in the prices of goods and services while the cost of transport will directly affect enterprises and the travelling public.

Mr Ngoma said ultimately, the effect will impact on the inflation rate as price adjustments are inevitable.

Zambia: Witness testifies against Dora


Zambia Daily Mail

By JIMMY CHIBUYE

July 13th, 2012

FORMER minister of Communications Transport Dora Siliya issued instructions to halt the contract for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of Zambia air traffic management surveillance radar system awarded to Thales Air Systems of South Africa , a State witness has testified.
Former Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) director-general David Kapitolo said Siliya instructed the then permanent secretary Eustern Mambwe to halt the process and retender the duly awarded contract because of alleged corruption. Mr Kapitolo however said the only person who can make variations for the cancellation of the tender awarded by the Central Tender Committee (CTC) is the minister of Finance, who is the chairperson of the CTC and the variations should be done through a statutory instrument.

He was testifying in a case in which Siliya, who is MMD Petauke Central member of Parliament, is charged with two counts of abuse of authority of office, contrary to the Laws of Zambia.The tender for supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of a Zambia Air Traffic Management Surveillance Radar System was for Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International airports.

“I received a letter which was not directed to me but to Ministry of Communications and Transport permanent secretary Eustern Mambwe from the minister asking him [Dr Mambwe] to halt the tender and retender the process because the best evaluated bidder, Thales Air Systems, was not a manufacturer,” he said.

Mr Kapitolo said the procurement process and tender awarded to Thales Air Systems of South Africa was conducted in accordance with the ZPPA rules, up to the selection of the best evaluation bidder and notification but Siliya interjected. He said Selex Systemi Integrati was not among the bidders who submitted their documents for the tender of the radars because their bidding documents were rejected for being delivered late. Mr Kapitolo said he received a letter from Dr Mambwe, seeking the cancellation of the tender awarded by the CTC but he advised that the contract cannot be cancelled by an individual. He said he replied to Dr Mambwe’s letter and advised him that he cannot ask the CTC to cancel the tender because the manufacturer who authorised Thales Air Systems to bid was a reputable institution capable of making the radars.

Mr Kapitolo said unfortunately his letter to Dr Mwambwe was leaked to the media, forcing then President Rupiah Banda to set up a tribunal to investigate the matter. He said after the tribunal’s verdict which cleared Siliya of abusing her office, his contract of employment was terminated.
Mr Kapitolo also said the ZPPA received an anonymous letter alleging that the awarding of a contract to Thales Air Systems was marred by corruption and it should be halted. He said after investigations, it was revealed that the allegations contained in the anonymous letter were a ploy to halt the procurement process so that it could be redone and allow Selex Systemi Integrati to be part of the bidding process.
Mr Kapitolo said the permanent secretary is the purchaser and buyer of any ministry.

It is alleged that Siliya between February 20, 2008 and April 20, 2009 in Lusaka, employed as Minister of Communications and Transport, abused the authority of her office, by directing the cancellation of a duly awarded tender. The tender was for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of a radar system to Thales Air Systems South Africa, whose implementation was frustrated. This act was prejudicial to the rights or interests of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Particulars of the second offence are that during the same period, in breach of laid down procedure, Siliya did accept a purportedly free offer from Selex Systemi Integrati for the repair of a Radar Head at Lusaka International Airport, as a result of which government actually paid K1, 943, 932, 360, an act prejudicial to the rights or interests of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
The matter will come up today for continued hearing.

Zambia: Sata reverses bank sale, says state house stinks with graft


PHOTO| AFP Zambia’s new President Michael Sata (right) reacts as he is congratulated by former President Rupiah Banda during his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme  Court in Lusaka, on September 23, 2011.

PHOTO| AFP Zambia’s new President Michael Sata (right) reacts as he is congratulated by former President Rupiah Banda during his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Court in Lusaka, on September 23, 2011.

By ELIAS MBAO DAILY NATION Correspondent
Posted  Monday, October 3  2011 at  20:27

Zambia’s President Michael Sata today reversed the previous Government’s sale of a privately-owned bank to South Africa’s FirstRand, dissolved several parastatal boards and revealed that the nation, including State House, was “stinking with corruption”.

Speaking at State House after he swore in permanent secretaries and other senior Government officials, Mr Sata, who was elected two weeks ago, cancelled the Rupiah Banda-administration’s sale of Zambian-owned Finance Bank to South Africa’s FirstRand for $5.4 million.

“I have been doing a search [on] the so-called sale of Finance Bank, there isn’t even any document for sale. Therefore, I am instructing the Ministry of Finance to take the bank back to the owners of the bank, immediately,” President Sata said in a verbal decree.

The Banda-administration sold Finance Bank mid last month despite public disapproval. Mr Sata had promised during campaign that he would reserve the sale.

President Sata also dissolved, with immediate effect, the boards of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), state-run power utility – Zesco, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).

Before his election, he had accused the three institutions of graft.

The President also said he had retired the former managing Director of Zesco, Mr Ernest Mupwaya in the public interest  and reinstated Mr Cyprian Chitundu who was previously the Managing Director but was ‘‘dismissed unfairly.”

The President also sacked Banda-appointed police chief, Francis Kabonde, and replaced him with Dr Martin Malama.

“The police have to help us sweep; there is so much dirty including this office where I am, there is so much corruption. So much corruption that this country stinks and that is why people cannot get what they want,” said President Sata, 74.

“Zambia is so dirty, even my own office, some of the people who are supposed to be guarding me they even benefited from corruption,” he said.

He vowed to fight corruption.

“I don’t need any corrupt money for my campaign or for my re-election or PF re-election,” said President Sata, adding that he wants his Government to serve Zambians not him as an individual.

The Zambian leader dismissed all 72 district commissioners that were appointed by the previous Government, saying they were politicians, and ordered them to immediately vacate their offices and houses.

We cannot have civil service positions given to political parties, he said. “I have therefore fired all the district commissioners and appointed civil servants to take over from them,” said President Sata.

He also abolished several Government positions.

The new leader called for mass investment in road construction countrywide.

Zambia: Rupiah explains his corruption stance


Zambia in au
Image via Wikipedia

The Post Zambia

By Chibaula Silwamba

September 7th, 2011

UNITED STATES embassy in Lusaka confidential cables released by Wikileaks have revealed why President Rupiah Banda has taken a soft stance on corruption.

According to the cables, President Banda told World Bank vice-president that he could not take robust anti-corruption stance because he has multiple constituencies to satisfy.

And the cables revealed that immediate-past World Bank country manager Kapil Kapoor said President Banda’s “friendship” with the late Frederick Chiluba could be because the former president had incriminating information on the incumbent or he was funding President Banda’s 2011 re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, the cables revealed that the US government regarded Vice-President George Kunda as an obstacle to progress in fighting corruption…In another cable prepared by Koplovsky dated May 28, 2009, the diplomat revealed that Sweden and the Netherlands’s freezing of their development assitance to Zambia’s health sector reflected mounting donor anxiety, not so much at corruption itself but the Banda-government’s seemingly tepid response to it.

Koplovsky stated that seized with the idea that other donors would slash their funding, President Banda summoned numerous heads of diplomatic missions to State House on May 26, 2009 to reassure them of government’s on-going commitment to fighting corruption.

Koplovsky stated that during the meeting, the diplomatic and donor community called for decisive government action to improve transparency of public procurement and financial management. He stated that these developments presented an opportunity to the diplomatic community, which had the government’s full attention and which may be better poised to secure long-awaited government buy-in on several anti-corruption priorities, including anti-money laundering.

He stated that the Swedish charge d’affares and European Commission representative scolded Banda and his ministers on sector-specific policies and processes related to their development aid…Among corruption scandals mentioned in the cables include the Dora Siliya-Zamtel-RP Capital saga, single sourced government’s US $53 million mobile hospital deal with China, President Banda’s friendship with Chiluba and Regina, Henry Kapoko -Ministry of Health saga, former ministry of finance permanent secretary and current ambassador to Japan Wamundila Mbikusita Lewanika’s personal interest in a contracted public financial management project. Koplovsky wrote that on May 26, the executive director of the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) told embassy officials that these corruption incidents were “but the tip of the iceberg”…Read more.

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