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Saturday, December 3, 2022

PF Government single sources Huawei in a US$ 65.5 million scam for national ICT project

Headlines PF Government single sources Huawei in a US$ 65.5 million scam for...


The Zambian Government has signed a US$65.5 million contract for the Smart Zambia Phase 1 National ICT development Project with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei under suspicious circumstances.

The project involves the setting up of a national Data Centre, Email System, CT Talent Training, Tele presence system, Unified communication system and Assistant Maintenance Support for the national ICT backbone.

The contract which was signed by Transport, Works, Supply and Telecommunications Permanent Secretary Francis Kamanga and Titus Chansa, the Head of Purchasing and Supplies Unit at the same ministry was single sourced.

The Zambia Public Procurement Authority never issued a public tender for the project but was forced to issue a certificate of clearance long after the contract had been signed.

According to copies of the contract obtained, a number of irregularities can easily be spotted on the contract No. Huawei Ref: 00Y8941213000A.

The contract does not have a date on which it was signed although it bears the signatures of Mr Kamanga and Mr Chansa on behalf of the Ministry while some Chinese officials signed on behalf of Huawei.

The Zambian Government is expected to approach and apply for a commercial loan from the People’s Republic of China and apply for the Chinese financing fund granted by Government of the People’s Republic of China to purchase the said ICT equipment and services.

After signature of the contract, Zambia is to sign a loan agreement with pertinent authorities from the Chinese Government to transfer Chinese financing fund for making payment for this project in three separate payment instalments.

The contract quotes Red Hat Operating Systems at $ 4 492.00, MySQL Database at $52 000.00, an HA Proxy $24 000.00. According to experts in the field, all these three items of Software can be obtained as free Open Source Software.Some items on the contract for the email systems (L3-Price Table Email System on page 21 for 12 000 users) costing a total of almost $2.5 million dollars raises a lot of suspicion on the pricing of the items. Experts believe that an email system for just 12 000 users can be delivered for well under $2.1 million quoted in the tender documented. They further argue that local Zambian companies like Zamtel, Zamnet and Coppernet have for years deployed and handled emails of larger numbers of users and they have the neccessary experience and expertise to deliver a mail system for 12 000 users at a lesser price than the one being quoted.

The total budget for the project is US$65, 551, 151.12,’ the sources said.

People with the knowledge of the deal wondered how senior Government officials could sign such a big contract without specifying the date and when the equipment was to be delivered and installed.

‘The contract was issued by Government for the National ICT development project. The contract is said not to have been tendered for and it is alleged that ZPPA was only engaged at a later stage for purposes of obtaining a certificate. If one looks at the contract which was signed by Francis Kamanga, Permanent Secretary MTWSC and witnessed by Titus Chansa Head of PSU at the same ministry, there is hardly any date indicated on the same contract and how surely can senior controlling officer make such a mistake.

They have since appealed to the Anti Corruption Commission and other stakeholders to take a keen interest in the project and the manner in which the contract was signed.

You can download the full tender Contract here below

National Data Center&ICTContract


    • OMG our leaders are dull!!!!! why are they paying over US$52 000 to the chinese for something that comes free? Essentially Zambia is getting a loan from china to pay a chinese company that is scamming us? Ignorance is very expensive!!! When is black man going to stop being colonised?

    • What?? this is a joke? for emails, unified communication (in terms of what??) this is nonsense?? please Zambains arrest Yamfwa, We need ICT services but not at the cost mentioned. It is daylight robbery to Zambian people.

      Vote these thieves out of Office.

    • This is a NATIONAL SECURITY issue. No government in the world puts such things to public tender!
      Does anyone remember a public tender for State House tunnels, for State Lodge, for Office of the President headquarters, for State House CCTV?

    • We (UPND) will cancel this contract and bring the culprits to book when we form government. Huawei systems are plugged with spyware backdoor traps and are known for stealing state secrets and passing them back to the communist government of China. The minute this equipment is installed then you have signed away your souls to the Chinese. There are better companies to deal with in the West that are run in democratic countries. F5 Networks, Cisco, HP, IBM are some of the names in mind.


      Where ever Huawei has installed their tech equipment there has been complaints of the company spying on the government of that country. Huawei at the moment involved in some corruption scandals in South Sudan for hacking the government communication system and forging letters purporting the government to have given tenders to to company.

      So inviting Huawei in is letting the Chinese take control of our government business. Any one who refuses to sign a contract for a chines company, will get sacked by Huawei drafting a fake letter purporting to be from the authorities.

      If in doubt check the link below;

      With these guys in forget,…

    • Guy Scott is the future; black people cannot run a country; give us your companies; we shall hire u; pay u peanuts and make a killing of a profit when exporting minerals…white people , chinese and indians rock!!!!!!!!

  1. Corruption is always there is single sourcing. Chapwa ba PF twalusa. There are too many wrongs our leaders are involved in. It is just impossible for EL to win this election and so pf twalusa as HH smiles all the way to state house.

    • Unbelievable! Most if this money will go into individuals pockets. And why the Chinese for goodness sake? We will end up with sub standard works.
      It is so irritating and being short sighted. Single sourcing is blatant corruption. We know Some Chinese companies bribe just like Zambian ones. Birds of the same feather flick together.

  2. Bloggers lets not be naive, there are no “free lunches”. Computer Systems are complicated and very expensive. Free things are very dangerous people, there is no guarantee for security . We live in a cyber world and thus should not compromise government systems for cheap ones.
    The price is just a number, you have to breakdown what goes to where and you will later realize the actual truth.

    • Opportunity cost, point is there is cheaper and better. Don’t assume businesses are forever paying a fortune its economies of scale. This is the same country that blocked gmail………Know the people you do business with China temunobe, those systems can be operated in Zambia by Zambian companies. If they dont know, they can ask SA, Kenya etc

    • @Brother, if I was not a Software Developer, I would agree with you on the price. But no, this is THEFT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!!! Email software for $2million???? NO! MY HEART ACHES TO THE CORE! WHRE ARE WE HEADED AS A COUNTRY? The future is bleak for Zambia – sad, yes, but true…

  3. Ignoramuses….this has almost nothing to do with PF but is simply a product of greed of a few bureaucrats…..if you know how the system works, you will know that the bureaucrats in the procurement committees played their games and it had nothing to do with PF or politicians. So please grow up and understand that these under the table deals happen regardless of which party is in power.

    • @Kapolyo

      The fact that its happening under PF ‘s watch, then its PF baby to nurse.

      Who do you want blame for this mess? HH? Are you sure?

      Single sourcing of contract under PF has been the order of the since PF came to power. So it not strange at all that PF have single sourced Huawei this time.

      RDA in Sata’s bedroom and under Nsanda ‘s chairmanship has single sourced all road contractors and you still say it has nothing to do with PF.

      PF is a rotten regim to the core. Thats why now Lungu has teamed up with RB so he can show him how its done.

      Only HH will save Zambia.

  4. LT, you can’t run a serious application on freewares, hence the prices attached to what you are calling freewares. The argument/debate should be on the cost attached to these different pieces of software, and NOT that the National ICT Project must be run on freebies. Where do you run to for support if its freeware. Let us be objective in our condemnation.

  5. I hope this is not true. This is a scandal of the decade. Maybe these guys are taking the confusion in PF to steal big time. This MUST not be allowed to continue.

  6. Problems in countries like Zambia is that all these politicians are very backwards when it comes to technology especially ICT sector, The campaigns are all about Nshima-related promises.. No one talks about technology..They should have used Zamtel as a company to handle the project, train some Zambians in the ICT field for the vendor-specific equipment that they’d decide to buy. Something that rarely happens in this country. The other they should have done is to not single source– They should have let other vendors like Cisco, Juniper, Hauwei, ZTE, Ericsson etc Bid.. Anyway, Obvious they have good reasons why they single-source Huawei..

  7. Red hat Linux was freeware. It was discontinued in 2004 although upgrades went on up through 2006. It was finally shut down in 2007 and can therefore not be the one you are talking about. Red hat enterprise replaced it and is not freeware. your sources have lied on this one. On what other have they lied? Single sourcing is not always corruption. The fact as you have said that financing will be done through Chinese loan can be a compelling factor for single sourcing. Huwawei is not comparable to Zamtel, MTN and Airtel. Zamtel, MTN and airtel are service providers who do not do those services. They outsource them. Your sources are ignorant of these facts. What else are they ignorant of? Your sources also do not know procurement procedures. it is very clear. Let me end here

    • @Basila typical PF thieve,trying to defend PF.Single sourcing is a crime fullstop.Reason it is one way of geting kickbacks and usually such projects are over priced.So watch out for these thieves.

    • Ba Basila, instead of insulting people of their ignorance, why not did deeper and enlighten us that Red hat enterprise Linux 1-year standard subscription is only $800.00 and premium subscription for 1-year is $1,300.00 instead of the $4,500.00 it is being sold for.

    • My dear RedHad enterprise does not cost the price quoted. In fact what you pay for is support. As a matter of fact CentOS is as good as RHE. I would argue tha there are even far better and stable OSes like FreeBSD and Ubuntu Servers which would outperform RHE. And if this is a national security issue, why not go for the most secure OS in the name of OpenBSD and the good news it is free..these once off prices being quoted in the contract can’t be support. Support is on going. These are once off costs of buying software.

      I think ACC needs to invite all Zambia IT firms and critique this contract

    • Zamtel just handled a GSM/UMTS mobile project rollout with Zambian expertise. Something that was always done by the chinese companies. Yes they are service providers but they’ve got projects department and have handled one big mobile network project & E-Government. There’re lot of Zambians who can participate in this thru a Zambian ICT company.. All that the government should have done is to buy equipment from Huawei, and let local DataCom Engineers implement, the chinese can come in just for support of course. they did so for Zamtel’s current high capacity mobile network in preparation for LTE. I am sure many Zambian youths can do this, they just need direction and training to get familiar with the vendor’s equipment

  8. This thieves should be stopped.I feel pity for teachers and police officers who are still saying PF PF Lungu bla bla,when they are on wage freeze .This PF government will not be able to pay workers for 6months in 2015.They have over borrowed than they can pay back.Dont say we never warned you.

  9. Catch them and parade them at the Lusaka Showgrounds to be shot in public.Such people must be killed quickly before we lose everything.

  10. This really is sickening. Why are we so in love with money when it can not buy us happiness or joy but gives only ego and pride. This is really sad indeed. People please let us also consider the poor people, the medicine in hospitals etc. So many people dying everyday in Zambia what about improve the lives of people. Money does not take any person any where but one dies and it is left but if invested in the people it benefits everybody and there is joy. I leave it here.


  11. Its just priority misplacement by pf govt.is this really a priority for a poor nation like Zambia. we need to prioritize poverty reduction programmes.This is the reason I believe hh when he says there is too much misuse,lack of priority and wastage of resources by pf govt. Zambia needs to invest heavily in education,health,community development,roads,canals,railways,agric,manufacturing and tourism

  12. “According to experts in the field, all these three items of Software can be obtained as free Open Source Software…”

    Not sure if any prudent govt would want to rely on free Open Source software to run their crucial ICT infrastructure. And who are these experts in the field saying such nonsense? The contract may be problematic, but let us be serious when discussing issues that have some national security aspects attached.

    You suggest to use free Open Source Software…and you call yourself an expert? No kidding! It is “FREE” and “OPEN” for a reason. Any average software engineer can get the code, ADD, SUBTRACT, and MANIPULATE it. And you want the govt to run the country’s ICT infrastructure on that kind of software?

    Investigate the contract for other anomalies, NOT this!

    • @Yambayamba sir! It’s better to keep quiet about things you don’t understand “Open Source” doesn’t mean trap door or vulnerable code. It simply means the code is not monopolised by one company as Microsoft used to do business. When it is open for use then technological advancement to the code can be achieved as many people can get to try different kind of solutions and innovations. Such innovations have led to SDN (Software Defined Networks) where customers don’t have to buy/own expensive ICT equipment but rent space in the Data Center (DC) and use solutions that they have paid for. Of course the users are oblivious to how they are connected and to them it doesn’t matter. Let’s leave issues we don’t understand to the experts to protect public fund. Single sourcing is corruptive!

    • Quotes from Wikipedia:

      1) Free and open-source software (FOSS) is computer software that can be classified as both free software and open-source software. That is, anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.

      2) Software experts and researchers who are not convinced by open source’s ability to produce quality systems identify the unclear process, the late defect discovery and the lack of any empirical evidence as the most important problems….In terms of security, open source may allow hackers to know about the weaknesses or loopholes of the software more easily than closed-source software.

      Now concentrate of (2)!

    • One thing I can assure U @One Hit…, no responsible government on earth runs its critical ICT infrastructure backbone on open source software. Maybe a govt department here and there may opt for this kind of software to cut costs, but the backbone of say the US govt’s ICT infrastructure is a self contained beast. Even the kind of Computers used are all proprietary. In fact in the USA right now, there are certain software and computer products (and I mean commercial products) that are illegal to sale outside the US—you can go to jail for it. That’s how serious this issue is.

      But of course ours is a poor developing country. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean we should be going for cheap in everything we do. Sometimes securing national assets comes with high price tag.

    • @Yambayamba, I will leave it at that otherwise I will be divulging too much information about myself defeating the objective of this forum. Open source doesn’t mean cheap. It’s like how the internet was first used by DARPA/ARPA/DOD and after the cold war at the breakup of the Soviet Union and Russia was no longer a threat, the internet or internetworking was given to the students to improve it. That’s how Our own Sir Tim Berners Lee developed the first browser. I will be careful if I were you not to rely on Google to get info on open source as the topic itself is abstract and you really need to be in the business to understand what I am on about. Remember open source in itself is not a program but suite of code that you can play around with and come up with a secure as shell program.

  13. Single sourcing sure? Anyway those Open Source Systems can be paid for, but not that lot. Rises a lot of questions. Monies are the same used in campaigns.

  14. Single sourcing govt projects that (can) gable millions of dollars is a form of corruption because of the risks it posses:- such for risk negation, increased risk of disruption and cost. Proper tender procedures were supposed to be followed.

    And don’t talk about security, because even the US military floats a public tender for the manufacturing of fighter Jets.

  15. If my memory serves me right, the said Francis Kamanga was removed from that position a long time ago by the Cobra. How come then he is said to have signed those contracts. LT, I need clarification on this query before I can comment further.

  16. Forget about Open Source, an Enterprise Software is not the same as COTS( commercial off-the-shelf). You can not put a value to it because it is tailored to the customers specifications. What is not mentioned in details are things like feasibility studies, training, length of the contract, what kind of support for both hardware and software. Mind you Linux is just an operating system and not a database which has its own costs and licenses which will include patches. What levels of personnel do you have to manage and handle the system.
    The procedures may be wrong but the intention is good. Its high time we computerized all government institutions and this is the right direction. Not condoning wrong but we must move with a good quality program and the benefits are immense.

  17. Bane me I deal with facts. I have not told you how much red hat enterprise Linux costs. I am not interested. Because I know as an IT personnel that there is no standard price for such on the market. In ICTs no one loses. All make a profit. my thrust is your fake experts who want us to download free software. I was just showing you that red hat enterprise Linux is not free. No serious corporation can run an ICT backbone on free software. My thrust is ‘experts’ who start comparing zamtel, coppernet and Huawei. Guys Huawei are not just service providers. They are internationally respected ICT manufacturers who have even overhauled british telecom. having an ICT backbone is a globalization agenda which your governments agree to ngabaya kuma forum baya ne ndeke na entourage iyikulu. no…

    • @basila how do u explain this. Please follow this URL for more information;********
      South Sudan is at pains with this company. In this case Huawei, is accused of attempting to send a forged document to the president of export import bank of china on behalf of the minister of broadcasting of Uganda. This company was also engaged by ministry of Home Affairs of Zambia when EL was minister.. Kaya.. Hope all is clean coz the LT is proving to be a credible source.

  18. RB was persecuted by Sata for corruption, today RB is the man PF has gone to bed with E. Lungu. That is Sata’s vision.
    PF has lost it, corruption re enforced and puppet politics with PF continues as RB will pull strings for the entire PF cadres.

  19. Guys stop express ignorance on things you do not understand, the government cannot open source software to implement its project, for example they are paid SQL software and open source. If they get the open source and it failed where does the get support? I know that bloggers to say and comment on anything but please some of this should not be politicized software is very expensive

  20. I am not a fan of the social media in this case for its unlimited capacity to maim some one without recourse to any limit what so ever in terms of the damage it causes.
    I have known Major Kamanga as an officer during his Army days and as an MP for Lumezi much later before he was appointed PS
    I have met the Head Procurement, Mr Chansa more recently, a remarkable,soft spoken but not some one you would easily pass through
    By no coincidence to this article, this is a gentleman who strikes you as a very rare trait of a selfless Zambian role model for transparency in the civil service.
    Let us learn to appreciate others and avoid mud slinging
    The attempted malice is not only scanty but lacks substance even at the most basic of the five gutter reporting ethics, who,what,when, how or whe

  21. Firstly, single sourcing is part of the GRZ procurement policy. Secondly, the cost of $65m is just about right. A Tier 3/4 data centre will cost $20m, fibre optics deployment connecting our key hubs (lsk, ndola, kitwe etc) will cost $20m. The rest $25m will go equpiment and O & M. As much as road networks forms the mainstay of our economiy, ICT will be the enabler for economic growth.

  22. Yamfwa Mukanga, nakwatamo akalilo, let him and kamanga be investigated, I am telling you, if you leave these people in the government, they destroy, everything because they know, they are on there way out, vote HH, for good governance

  23. Honestly what “Expert” thinks RedHat is free ?
    If only people knew the cost of at which setting up these sort of centers is they would shut up.
    If you read the document maybe you would also realize that it isn’t taxpayers money but Chinese Govt money hence the single sourcing.
    Anyway, the concept is good the execution is rather off.
    Paying way too much for training ($4m) without the true breakdown of training costs.
    This is a way of Chinese Govt to pay its own citizens …
    Don’t even get me started on the security risks.

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