Saturday, June 22, 2024

George Kunda denies allegations on Zamtel

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George Kunda and his wife Irene

FORMER vice-president George Kunda has denied allegations that he or his firm, Messers George Kunda & Company received K190 million in respect of the Zamtel transaction.

And Mr Kunda has said his firm received K3.5 billion from the Ministry of Finance on behalf of its client, Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited in a matter against the Development Bank of Zambia.

Mr Kunda said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that it was not necessary to constitute a commission of inquiry on him over the K3.5 billion money for the Sun Pharmaceuticals and in the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) transaction.

On allegations that his firm received K190 million, the former vice-president said the only sum of money received by George Kunda & Company from ZDA in October 2010 was K100 million.

He said the K100 million was paid in respect to a matter between now Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba versus Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA), Minister of Finance, Magaba Nyirenda, Katema Mutale, Charles Mwamba, Oliver Munyonsi and William Nkonde.

He said this was in respect of the sale of Savoy Hotel in Ndola.

“The ZDA inherited this matter from the ZPA. The amount paid by ZDA is backed by a Supreme Court Judgment (Appeal No. 68/2006) wherein Mr Mwamba was awarded a sum of US$46,000 plus 40 per cent interest from April 29, 1998 to date of payment and costs.

“Pursuant to this judgment the ZDA as successor to ZPA refunded $46,000 directly to Mr GB Mwamba & Company again pursuant to a court order,” he said.

He said the payment of K100 million is also supported by the necessary Bill of Cost in respect of the same matter as directed by the court in its order for costs.

Mr Kunda said all supporting documents were available at ZDA.

“It is common knowledge that law firms receive fees, legal costs and client’s money and George Kunda & Company is no exception. It may be that ZDA paid the K100 million from the Zamtel proceeds. We understand from inquiries made at ZDA that other creditors including some law firms, were also paid from the same proceeds including allowances for members of staff at ZDA,” he said.

He said as a law firm, they could not answer for the error made by ZDA, saying it was an error as they did not control the operations and financial affairs of the agency.

He said his company was merely a victim of an error made at ZDA.

[pullquote]“It is unfortunate that Mr (Sebastian) Zulu and Ms Dimple Ranchold (Chairperson of the Zamtel Commission of Inquiry) decided to release unverified information with intent to defame the firm of George Kunda & Company and as proprietor.  It must also be pointed out that we have never been called by the technical committee appointed to inquire into the sale of Zamtel to testify as witnesses and state our side of the story,” he said.[/pullquote]

“It is unfortunate that Mr (Sebastian) Zulu and Ms Dimple Ranchold (Chairperson of the Zamtel Commission of Inquiry) decided to release unverified information with intent to defame the firm of George Kunda & Company and as proprietor.  It must also be pointed out that we have never been called by the technical committee appointed to inquire into the sale of Zamtel to testify as witnesses and state our side of the story,” he said.

He said he learnt about the alleged payment of K190 million through the media.

He said the firm had since decided to commence legal action against media organisations which carried the story that he had received K190 million.

Mr Kunda explained that as former vice-president and minister of Justice and now MP for Muchinga, he was not practicing in the law firm at the time the alleged payment was made.

“In view of the foregone it is not necessary to appoint a commission of Inquiry with its attendant financial cost to the tax payer in form of sitting allowances. All the information pertaining to this matter is available at ZDA,” he said.

He further said that it would be unfair to subject him to a commission of inquiry composed of politicians appointed by the president which is chaired by his principle accuser, the Minister of Justice.

“Such politicians are determined to ensure that my political career is ruined so that they can rule Zambia without any formidable opposition. With the president having pronounced me guilty already there is no way I can receive a fair hearing,” he said.

Mr Kunda said while some people were arguing that he should have declared interest, he said he had been filing declarations of assets and liabilities with the Chief Justice which includes a declaration of companies and firms in which he holds shares or interest.

On allegations that his firm received K3.5 billion, Mr Kunda said George Kunda & Company received the amount on behalf of Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited.

“The case between Development Bank of Zambia and Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited commenced in 1995 in the High Court that is to say 17 years ago in which case George Kunda & Company was acting for Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited,” he said.

He said at the time he was not in Government and that the case arose out of a loan agreement.

He said arising from the Judgment of the Supreme Court, the court awarded Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited compensation towards over payment.

Mr Kunda said the matter was between Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited and DBZ but that with the passing of the Development Bank of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 11 of 2001, Government assumed the debt portfolio and liabilities of the bank.

He said arising from this, the Government was obliged to settle the debts of DBZ including the Sun Pharmaceutical debt.

‘The money was paid from the Compensation Fund in installments and not in one lump sum of K3.5 billion and the firm has accounted for all the money. It is not possible for the Ministry of Finance to pay money to George Kunda & Company or indeed to any law firm without a court order and supporting documents,” he said.

He said the said monies represented compensation and party costs due to Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited.

[pullquote]‘The money was paid from the Compensation Fund in installments and not in one lump sum of K3.5 billion and the firm has accounted for all the money. It is not possible for the Ministry of Finance to pay money to George Kunda & Company or indeed to any law firm without a court order and supporting documents,” he said.[/pullquote]

He said the money was not paid to George Kunda and Company as legal fees for work done for Government or the Development Bank of Zambia.

“This is not the only case DBZ has been sued by borrowers. There are other similar cases e.g. the famous Match Corporation case. To the best of my knowledge, Government has been paying billions of Kwacha to many claimants through various law firms and it is surprising that George Kunda and Company has been targeted for libelous attacks,” he said.

He said while some people are arguing that he should have declared interest, this could not arise because the firm was not acting for the Government.

In his New Year message, President Michael Sata said law enforcement agencies had made progress in arresting MMD leaders and that Mr Kunda would be the next target.

50 COMMENTS

  1. Lol. Ba PF please! Fighting Corruption indeed! Honestly; I find Kunda’s explanation more convincing than the mad throwing PF Kaponya accusations. Please PF give us a vision for the country’s development rather than this stu.pi.d witch hunt!

    • Ireena I find your comment to be very anoing because the man you are defending may be smart due to his profession but believe you me time and god will soon catch up him.

  2. This is what I said, holding commission of inquiries with a sole mandate to come up with a pre-determined position held by Micheal Sata is a waste of Tax Payers Money , particularly if the people involved are not given a chance to give the side of their story.

    Micheal Sata and his PF Kaponyas should realise that no matter how hard they try to flatten a piece of Paper with all manner of bulldozers, the paper will always have two sides. Zambians can’t be fooled by one sided alarmist stories coming from PF proppaganda machinery. If you have a genuine case, take it to our courts where common sense dictates that no matter how flat a piece of paper is , it will always have two sides and those two sides need to be heard. And that is what we call justice.

  3. #1 I conquer with you. PF is too quick to make announcements before they can do their homework. And we are indeed tired of these COI that are conducted by Sata’s ‘chola boys’, instead of credible people at ACC, DEC, ZP, etc. Kunda has spoken well. I think PF needs to give us more than these investigations which have so far yielded nothing.

  4. We do not have a good performing govt. We can not clearly see which direcyion our dear country is going. Pf govt surely not the best ………………..

  5. i think people are beginning to see PF for what it is…a party with no program,so they are trying to divert attention…Kunda may not be clean but his explanation makes more sense than sata thoughtless mumbling..he should let law enforcement agencies do their work not these vindictive COI.

  6. I for once agree with you chief boot licker ,this explanation is candid and makes a lot of sense. What the PF should not forget is that they are dealing with a lawyer who by vetch of his experience will be paid a lot more of public funds.It surprises men that professionals like Dr.Malama are failing to advise the president on matters of corruption. Mind you its one thing to suspect one to have stolen and its a totally different story all together to find him guilty.We have trained legal brains in this country and let them advise the president properly.

  7. What are the law enforcement agencies doing if all suspected cases of corruption are going to be investigated by these commissions of inquiry?

    I am not an MMD supporter but I can see the sense in Kunda’s arguments.

  8. why not suing Dimple Ranchold who made the allegations. The media houses simply relayed what the so called Dimple Ranchold announced.She misled the whole nation.

    • The media must check before they print it. It’s their responsibility. In the UK, the media cough a lot of money when they print lies and they are found out.

  9. Wow commission after commission. What they are failing to tell us is, how much they are getting by sitting on these commissions. Its  a ploy by these PF sellouts of enreaching themselves and they are no different from what Chiluba did to KK by diverting our attention in his first few months of coming  to power. Later on, he went on to sell our parastatals just like the PF who have no proper policy direction on how to run the country.Directives are coming from state house on vitually everything from street venders to humiliating the IG in public and directing the Bank of Zambia to look into the falling kwacha. What they can not explain is how they are going to do all this since they acsended into power on the premise of putting more money in our pockets. 

  10. Buti Chi GK chalikwata data, yaba bashikulu muletekanya…. Am nt MMD neither am i UPND but this chap just spoke major sense…….

  11. A thief does not say he is a thief but only when court determines. So I waite and see if really Kunda did not stole. He is saying ZDA made a mistake, again let us waite and see.

  12. A thief can cook a story and convince evry one for the timebeing,but when the truth comes out he wil look foolish,remember the chap is a lawyer.

  13. guys we dnt know who is telling the truth let the courts to their job if kunda has nothing to hide he will come out clean and if our dear cobra just say things from i dnt know he will also be ashamed of himself.

  14. Commission of Inquiry ! my foot. What does ACC,DEC,ZP do these days? Do they work after these senseless Commissions of inquiry finish theeir witch hunt?

  15. George Kunda is a lawyer so even when he stole some money he is likely to show innocence in the face of the media and all the simple minds will see sense very easily. It takes critical minds to smell a rat here. The fact is we are not looking at a law firm here but a vice president using his influence to benefit his company. George Kunda was an authority in the sale of zamtel and he was a government senior personnel. He can not fail to know the source of money which ZDA paid his firm. A VP is the head of business in parliament to whom the ZDA agenda is formulated as a development agency. so what are you blogers agreeing with Kunda. Wait and see when the matters goes though the court.
    Sata and pf yes they have had cases were they have made mistakes in publication but not on this one.

  16. Very slippery chap. I do not think anyone in the current government will be able to handle this guy. He is simply too good for them. Empty rhetoric will not work. I love the guy (GK).Let us now wait and see what the PF government is made of.

  17. By now I expect zambians to know that pf will lead this country nowhere!these are clearly politically motivated scams by sata n co to bring down mmd at all costs and the gullible zambians are busy clapping ati corruption fight!the case of liato is quite,dora the same and now they are persecuting innocent Maxwell mwale over bicycles.surely can a man fail to buy bicycles!and you call that plunder!!atase let’s be serious mwebantu can they tell us what they are goin to do for the country that’s all we want prosperity creation of jobs etc..but as it is for now the country is surviving on what rb left!by the way wer are the so called thandiwes hotels even that Fyonse ma rumor!kwacha nayipona and I think hh is right I don’t see any increased fdi.God help us

  18. Mr. Sata should really avoid opening his mouth whenever he hears a rumour. Let law enforcement agencies carry out THOROUGH investigations before Sata starts yapping away! Why are people being tried at press conferences and State House or indeed in The Post Newspaper? You don’t need a Commission of Inquiry to trace these payments.

    PF has run out of ideas. We want more jobs, less street vending and improved health services instead of this hot air which is continually being blown from State House. Now wonder the rains are failing!

  19. #1 to 11 you are not critical you are looking at things from your own prejudice of pf not verifying things but you need to get your minds to develop so that you can be critical without being guided by the wind. George stole the money he should have declared interest. he blind forded the MMD chaps including Siliya whom they used as a spokes person.
     George looks lazy,sickly and dull but inwardly he is a very clever man he used alot of people including bwezani. He used zambia as a country to enrich himself. his riches are in the name of different people he is not like Liato who failed what to do with his money. Just imagine if liato a commoner in the face of seniority could go mad and burry the money what more his boss VP

    • @Wise Man i think you are the one missing the point,no one is saying kunda did not steal what we are saying is that the President should make informed statements,look at what happened to the fake money statement..

  20. #23 you should go to sleep. your comment lacks sense. you are really a ninja.This is a matter of theft of public resource you are talking of ideas. there other headlines to talk about pf and their ideas. here we are looking at a case. or an allegation. cases in court may take years to be disposed off. the president has a freedom of speach lets not pre empty the matter the case has not yet been even taken to court so why telling off the presid of yapping yapping. if ther is no comm of inquiry to trace the payment who will do it? you? mind you the comm of inquiry is a best way of saving costs for cases which are not verified to go to court for verification. it is also a best way to find the basis of prosecuting the erring people with evedence. you want more jobs yes wait.

  21. #26 George Kunda actually declared interest. The unfortunate thing is that George Kunda and Company cannot sue the commissioners who announced the K190m ZDA transaction because they are protected by law – being commissioners on a commission of inquiry appointed by the President. But clearly they made a mistake. What George has said is TRUE on this one…! The PF should even stop investigating that point – they should just look for other cases that would be solid. GBM should also speakout on this. He knows that George is telling the TRUTH. Let us fight Corruption – but let us fight it with TRUTH and HONESTY. Real Thieves, including George if he has stolen MUST be prosecuted.

  22. thieves trying very hard to support their kind. we all know that this “red lipped snake” stole from govt. big time. if it was not for the post to dig deeper, what would have happened to the K5 billion each, he wanted to pay pf rebels who participated in the ncc. this guy is a snake. wait for the courts to clear him which i doubt very much.

  23. I cannot believe how short sighted most bloggers are and how they are easily swayed. While I dont agree with PF’s leaking of sensitive matters to the media prematurely, in this case there’s a case to answer by GK. While trying to defend himself against the media, he has acknowledged that ZDA should not have paid money to his firm and blames ZDA. What we need to understand is that he was a Vice president at the time who presided on ZDA operations and Zamtel sale and consequently abused his office knowingly. I however agree that a commission of inquiry would be a waist of public funds in this case.

  24. For the first time in my life, I am ashamed of being a Zambian. The endless senseless pronounhcements made by our president are simply shocking! I wish fresh presidential elections were held today so that Sata would suffer a humiliating defeat at the polls! The man is taking us for granted! I miss RB and MMD. In the 90 days plus since the September 2011 elecdtions, Zambia would have been somewhere by now.

  25. Going by this column, GK is innocent and the media and govt will pay him a lot of money in damages, you’ll see. PF is about harrassing people, they dont have the brains when it comes to dealing with facts on the ground. PF is only good at shouting wolf! and making false accusations. That is why very few, if any, cases will amount to anything.

    The net effect is that GRZ will lose a lot of money on COIs and compensations to people and firms Sata has wrongly accused.

  26. Zambians! Welcome to 2012 and happy new year to you all. We begin the year with another HULLA BALOO news of PF govt found in the corner to defend itself. The courage Zambians are demonstrating in response to Kunda’s revelations is incredible. Zambians given the data over issues show their analytical skills with zeal that no political rhetoric will sway their perception of fairness. This will make Zambia a fair society where manipulations would be hard.

  27. Ba mfumu. You are a good lawyer but look at another good lawyer Sakwiba Sikota who was to replace you if rb had won he is also protecting plunderers and putting more money in the pocket. The worst you did was to introduce the the scrapping of office abuse clause into our poor parly.
    Siliya, yourself and maxwell mwale you manuplated the government so much. Serenje and mkushi never benefietd from your cash. By the way Dr Jere commence investigation how Hamer mills and CDF was used in mkushi and Serenje.

  28. Lets wait for the Commission of inquiry, the knows why he is scared of it. The truth is massive plunder of our resources did occur hence we should not leave any stone unturned just because someone what to appear clever and mentioning names to confuse you. Thats God did not allow these guys to continue. An innocent man whether Commission or no Commission has nothing to fear. If found not wanting well and good but we want some answers. GOD BLESS ZAMBIA.

  29. #40 Special Agent Dr. M, do not be narrow-minded. The money that these people are using for the COI is ours. Why can’t ZP/ACC/DEC investigate these cases? There have been changes at the helm of these institutions let us put them to the test. Are perhaps there is no confidence in the people that are heading them? If the accusers have sufficient evidence there is no need of proclaiming him guilty in the media either. Mind you GK is on the weaker side now and the State machinery is powerful, so they can investigate and push the case through to the courts for proper determination. IT IS UP TO THE ACCUSED TO PROVE GUILT AND NOT THE ACCUSED TO PROVE INNOCENCE. So GK can blabber all he wants, the question is why prosecute in the papers and why the Min of MOJ chairing a COI for 1 person?

  30. From the papers I have noticed that there are almost 9 people to serve the GK COI and then add support staff, logistics and miscellaneous, I rekon it will be more than the K3.5bn they will be inquiring into. Am I wrong? If I am right, does it make sense? After GK COI, there shall come Dora, then Mutati, Nevers and all that is cash. No put this to a stop.

  31. Every coin has two sides. GK has mentioned Sun Pharmaceuticals, ZDA and the Ministry of Finance. Let these organizations speak out on this matter aswell.

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