Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has said that Government is not persecuting the owners of Railway System of Zambia (RSZ). Commenting on the interception of RSZ chief executive officer, Benjamin Even and his Managing Director, Pelossor Yair, Mr Chikwanda said there was no persecution of the two as alleged by some opposition leaders.

He advised opposition leaders not to glorify foreign company owners even when they had failed to perform to expectations as enshrined in agreements.

“There is no persecution, we want them to stay, a little longer for accountability and smooth handover. Why should they want to run away? In mature countries, in matters like this, Government and the opposition usually work together because the issue is of national interest.

But in the case of our opposition, who’s interests are they serving? That is why they will continue to be in the opposition. They want to play to foreign gallery when it doesn’t even work for them. How can they lead people against their interest?” Mr Chikwanda said.

And Home Affairs deputy minister in-charge of Immigration, Stephen Kampyongo the interception of Mr Even and Mr Yair was meant to have the two officials help with a smooth and transparent handover of the railway assets.

Mr Kampyongo said there was nothing sinister with the interception of the two who wanted to exit the country at Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Thursday.

Alert Immigration officers intercepted Mr Even and Mr Yair at the airport when they tried to leave for South Africa.

The two were scheduled to leave the country on an early morning flight to Johannesburg through the airport when they were blocked.

“There is nothing sinister about intercepting them. What we want, is to ensure that the two hand over RSZ assets to Government in a smooth and transparent way,” he said in an interview yesterday.

He said Government would promote transparency in the manner RSZ would be handled and that it wanted Mr Even and Mr Yair to be around as Government took over operations.

“We want to ensure there is a proper hand-over of all assets so that there exit is also smooth. We don’t to see a situation where they go while certain issues remain pending because it will be difficult to call them,” he said.

He appealed to Mr Even and Mr Yair to remain patient and cooperate with Government.

On Thursday, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, Maxwell Nkole said the duo was found with RSZ employment permits which have since been withdrawn and their passports withheld.

Mr Nkole said it was important that a full audit of all assets was thoroughly undertaken with the assistance of the former management.

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33 COMMENTS

    • Still there, when you are a free man indeed. you can’t go to a country, rape some of it’s assets like in the case of RSZ on ZRL and then peolple just say OK, we have taken over go away kwati wafuma pa toilet. You have to take stock of what you are leaving behind and generally explain the current status of what you are leaving behind. Then you can go away, a free man.

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    • They are in Zed illegally – work permit withdrawn . . . .they are not obliged to cooperate. . . the nationalization was not smooth and yet you want them t smoothly hand over. . . but this is CNP

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  1. The opposition parties in Zambia many a time just oppose for the sake of it. The case of ZRL is a typical case. They have seen and know how this railway line is and runs. Nevers was recently in Vanada he know how reliable the railway systems there are. It hurts to see ZRL be in state it is today 48 years after independence with lots of Cooper wealth plus plus that we have. Do not just oppose for the sake of it. Don’t just live with opposition instincts only. Use reasoning. Your judgement on national issues matters. We need a better railway, wwe deserve it. We need to travel in comfort on the rails. we efficient and effective transportation of goods and avoid damage of roads. Is that what the opposition case surely easily understand? Come opposition!

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  2. PF is a dictatorship, how do they want to work with the opposition now even though their views are not considered nor are they consulted. To hell with this. This Pure Fools (PF) are acting like headless chickens. No program whatsoever that can inspire confidence

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    • It was same with UNIP, it was same with MMD how can PF want to work with the opposition now if their judgement is different from the obvious. It becomes difficult to consult them. Let them wait for their time if it will ever come. Or you live in opposition in pepertuality. Sorry William.

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  3. you people even you hate pf when something is for interest of the nation be honest to your country, you even that freedom of movement every freedom is restricted if you meet other freedom. my freedom end where your freedom starts so if runing away of official will abuse of freedom to know how the RSZ why should they go

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    • please twapapata,mulelembafye mucibemba nga icisungu chashupa. i mean,why should you struggle to say whats on your mind when you can even say it in bemba,nyanja,lozi or tonga. we cant understand what you are writing here sir. grammar nailubana sana.

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  4. Honestly speaking how can you talk of systematic handing over when the taking over was not? Do you think those guys are happy with the way you have treated the all thing?
    Mr Chikwanda ulimukalamba sana who should no how uncomfortable one should be in a foreign country where your business has just been taken by the government by force and you don’t even what to do next.  I imagine this happening to you in a slowly becoming unstable foreign nation. Pompous Fools for sure

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  5. Railway concessions have been revoked in the UK on more than one occasion on grounds of poor performance. Even now, Virgin Trains are in court contesting the loss of one of their biggest railway franchise, which has been awarded to another company. RSZ has been receiving a government subsidy every year and yet they themselves have not been investing. They have just been paying expatriates large salaries. While MMD were happy with the status quo, it was unsatisfactory. My only reservation is that I am not sure where the badly needed investments will come from.

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  6. Chikwanda and his relative Sata have no moral nor social inventory. For these uncultured lot the means justify the end. Mr Even had requested a meeting with the gov’t to answer to the malicious allegations the PF govt was making. This was the opportunity for the govt to sit down with these guys and undertake the audit of RSZ. Instead the PF unleashed their attack dog, Nawakwi, who told Mr Even to shut up and leave the country otherwise she was going to institute a citizens arrest. This was followed up by the grabbing of RSZ and the appointment of a new CEO. This foolish govt did not inform the ex RSZ management that they were needed to help with an Audit. Chikwanda , you’re a big disappointment it seems you never think through your actions.

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    • What did I tell you last week you funny chap about you boss Benjamin Evans ati he will take the government to court. Why is he in such a hurry to leave? Did you also help your bwana shed papers?

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  7. this just  under score the risky economy zambia is. many zambia prefer to invest there monies in SA, UK as a result

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  8. @4, OPNESS, where have you been? I really missed you insightful contributions like the one you have posted already. Lol.

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  9. It is true let them hand over our assets in a smooth manner. Why running away if indeed you have done nothing wrong? The opposition is just dull, they have no strategy . Why are they always against the interests of Zambians? Who do thy think can vote for them while they are always supporting thieving foreigners than Zambians? Very dull opposition, we will see if these foreigners will come and vote for you. 

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    • Indeed. they don’t know which side of the bread is buttered. Thye promote foreign interests and forget that they will be soliciting votes from the same people they want to mortgage to crooked infestors. There are genuine investors we can not make noise about. Not those characters that have ruined your railways. Wherever you are you must be using fast and efficient trains somehow. Yet in your stupidity you want Zambia never to reach a stage like that. Shame on you.

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  10. I would have loved to hear the Minister say that these people were told before they tried to leave that needed to be in the country to help with the handover. My guess is that the idea of handover only came about because some alert or overzealous immigration officer (depending on where you stand on the matter) stopped the two. Knowing the level of competence in cabinet and those surrounding the leader, I am sure that they thought just the announcement they made on TV was enough.

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  11. Very Poor Fools and your supporters, people are threatened what do you think they can do? kuuya they have where they come from. Mule bacita wanya wanya ala. After all Mr. Even requested sit down with govt but did the govt do? As usual typical of PF not wanting to dialog. But now they want a smooth handover, what smooth handover mwe bantu. kwati kaice kalelanda aka shishibe nangu ciimo.

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  12. Very dull Poor Fools and your supporters, people are threatened what do you think they can do? kuuya they have where they come from. Mule bacita wanya wanya ala. After all Mr. Even requested sit down with govt but did the govt do? As usual typical of PF not wanting to dialog. But now they want a smooth handover, what smooth handover mwe bantu. kwati kaice kalelanda aka shishibe nangu ciimo.

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  13. This must the oldest cabinet in Zambia, Just look at these two in the picture. What is the average age. It explains why the only ideas these guys have are from the matero reforms and choma declaration

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  14. Some blogers don’t know which side of the bread is buttered. Especially spillovers from the poisonous guarddog paper, or is it watchdog. They promote foreign interests and forget that they will be soliciting votes from the same people they want to mortgage to crooked infestors. There are genuine investors we can not make noise about. Not those characters that have ruined your railways. Wherever you are you must be using fast and efficient trains somehow. Yet in your stupidity you want Zambia never to reach a stage like that. Shame on you.

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  15. When all is done and if they have acted in a dishonest manner they will face the law.This is not MMD Govt.ZR has been reaped off its assess so they need tell us what they have done to our assets.National Milling Plant in Kabwe was stripped off by  new owners ,took equipment away in the full view of MMD denying Zambians employment.PF we support you mubakande Zambia is for  Zambians HH you will not succeed to bring this Govt down it has now able to stand.Viva HE MS Chilufya

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  16. Why not withdrawing passports of all past government officials? After all, withoud them there was not disposal of assets and subsequent nationalisations

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