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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

ZNFU Financial Scandal-How the top brass diverted billions to fund lavish lifestyles

Columns ZNFU Financial Scandal-How the top brass diverted billions to fund lavish lifestyles

Entrace to Ndambo's farm estate
Entrace to Ndambo’s farm estate

Details have started emerging of how senior officials at the Zambia National Farmers Union embezzled billions of Kwacha in donor funds meant to help small scale farmers.

About 70 small scale farmers who are direct beneficiaries of the donor support will be affected.

In court papers prepared by the Drug Enforcement Commission, ZNFU Executive Director Ndambo Ndambo and former Union President Evelyn Nguleka stole close to K3 billion between 2012 to December 2015.

Mr. Ndambo aged 43, of Farm No. 87a/D/26 Chongwe was yesterday arrested and jointly charged with Dr Nguleka aged 46 of Plot No. 2752, Ndeke Meanwood in Lusaka for theft by servant, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

The duo is accused of fraudulently authorising the transfer of K906, 750.00 from the ZNFU account to R.N Parks and Gardens on dates unknown but between 1st November, 2012 and 31st December, 2015.

Mr Ndambo purported to show that the said payments were for landscaping and plumbing works at ZNFU Headquarters when in fact he engaged R. N Parks and Gardens to carry out construction and landscaping works at his farm estate in Chongwe.

And the duo is also accused of fraudulently authorising withdrawals of a sum of USD15, 000.00 from the ZNFU Dollar account purporting that the said funds were for various members of staff attending conferences in South Africa when in fact not on dates unknown but between 1st November, 2012 and 31st December, 2015.

In the third count, Mr Ndambo jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did fraudulently obtain household furniture from Décor More Investments Limited valued at K169, 000.00 which was paid for by drawing cheques on the ZNFU account on dates unknown but between 1st November, 2012 and 31st December, 2015.

The said cheques were meant for procuring ZNFU office furniture but the furniture ended up at Mr. Ndambo’s house.

Yesterday, Dr Nguleka stepped down from her position as ZNFU President and consequently relinquished her position as Head of the World Farmers’ Organisation.

The two officials had earlier refused to yield to donors’ demands for the funds to be paid back after the donors which included Sweden, Finland and We Effect urged the Zambian authorities to take firm action against those involved so that the funds intended to benefit small-scale farmers are recovered.

“We need to ensure that accountability takes place by the board but also by law enforcement agencies,” said David Wiking, the head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy. “It is also important to remember that donors have a due-responsibility, both to tax payers at home in Sweden and Finland but also to farmers in Zambia.”

“The conclusion is that ZNFU has systems that fails, whether by design or by accident,” said Mr Wiking. “KPMG report also concludes that there is significant non-budgeting of cost related to among other things… the executive pay, significantly higher than what has been agreed by the donors,” said Mr Wiking during a news conference.

But the ZNFU board dismissed the audit reports on the institution, saying they were “flawed and not handled professionally”.

The board vice president, Richard Lisimba who is now the Acting President following Dr Nguleka’s resignation said the donors were free to terminate funding to the farmers if they so wished.

Following the release of the preliminary report in January this year, ZNFU top officials engaged in a deliberate attempt to mislead the public by dismissing the findings of the audit carried out by EMM Corporate Partners.

But KPMG Finland, an accounting firm tasked to evaluate the disputed audit did not question the report.

And sources at ZNFU have indicated that the embezzlement at ZNFU was going on at a time when Mr Ndambo was earning US$15,000 as monthly salary

Amongst the biggest audit queries are payments in excess of K1.4 million made to Jambo Vehicle Tracking Limited, a company owned by Ndambo and his wife which were made outside the ZNFU budget.

After the release of the first report in January this year, Mr Ndambo is said to have written a letter to Mr. Wiking, claiming the report is “reprehensible and the insinuations are odious”, and accused the auditors of incompetence, malice and lacking an understanding of the operations of ZNFU, and in full breach of many applicable audit standards.

In addition, he claimed the report “contains inaccurate elements that were not substantiated with the appropriate personnel” which “illustrate a lack of objectivity”.

He further claimed that the report was being used “as a tool to discredit the union and management.”

ZNFU also threatened legal action against the audit, acts of intimidation that the audit “considered both reportable and at odds with Sections 30 and 38 of the Accountants’ Act 2008, given the statutory, protected and privileged nature of audit assignments”.

But the request of the ZNFU Council, the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) reviewed the entire audit process and the findings of the preliminary audit report and declared that the auditor, EMM, “complied with all relevant standards and that there is no evidence of any professional misconduct or malpractice, and that there is no basis for any disciplinary action against EMM.

It is an outcome that did not please the union, which has tried to discredit the work of the auditors. ZNFU had previously accused EMM of being “totally ignorant of the joint financing agreement” between ZNFU and the donors.

In February this year, DEC performed a search at the ZNFU offices and Mr. Ndambo’s farm estate in Chongwe which is fitted with a 9-hole golf course, Zebras and Impalas.

The suspects were arrested yesterday and are currently on Police Bond and will appear in court soon.

Part of Ndambo's farm estate in Chongwe
Part of Ndambo’s farm estate in Chongwe

Part of Ndambo's farm estate in Chongwe
Part of Ndambo’s farm estate in Chongwe

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    • There is a lot more people like Ndambo some have even stolen more than Ndambo but they cant be arrested because they are politicians and stole government resources. An example is Edgar Lungu, he accumulated K23 million in less than 2 years.

    • Greedy educated and qualified people who continue laughing at the ordinary citizenry of not being innovative! There are innovative in stealing money for the same lowly qualified people who need to survive. Now these crazy Lawyers will go flat out to bribe all and sundry and defend this thuggery at all cost. Thieves!

    • To start with, it’s very shameful that it had to take these two donor countries, Sweden and Finland, to pressure the local authorities to act on this corruption scandal. It shouldn’t take foreign countries to remind these investigators to do what they are supposed to be doing in the first place. After all, it’s poor Zambian farmers who have been mercilessly deprived by these crooks, of the help they so desperately needed. It’s also Zambia’s image abroad that’s being tarnished. And Sweden and Finland will be very hesitant to make anymore donations after this. Not only these two countries, but other potential donor countries are monitoring this to see how serious Zambian authorities will treat this case. So, please make an example out of these thieves. Try to recover the money they…

    • (Continued)… stole, freeze their bank accounts, and seize any properties they may have bought with the money. Then give them minimum 15 years prison time. And , most likely, these thefts are happening in various organizations including some NGOs. Find the ones you suspect to be money laundering and audit them. You’ll be surprised what you’ll begin to discover. Encourage whistle-blowers, .i.e. corruption tips from the general public. Corruption has to be fought vigorous and culprits dealt with mercilessly. There should be no sacred cows. Corruption if left unchecked has more devastating power than disease, or war. It hinders progress and development. Send these self- serving, greedy individuals to prison, don’t just make them lose their jobs. Send them to prison for a long time,…

    • What tribe are these two professional thieves? I believe these are Bembas because I hear only Bembas and a easterners are thieves in Zambia.

    • This is what happens when you have a corrupt government, If its not been the donors involvement nothing would have come out, If these guys can do such how about EL and his ministers, Its free for all now, Cry my beloved country. PF is the worst thing that has ever happened to Zambia and wait after this 5 years the treasury will be swept clean with RB/Mutatati in charge of finance.

    • If this was not donor funds a Zambian taking over at ZNFU would have let it slide like they have done at FAZ where Kamanga has not even called in auditors. This is what is happening with taxpayers in Government where funds meant for the poor is being diverted to buying Jeeps and Range Rovers; with absolutely no shame at all….these are people in the early 40s.
      Please make an example of them…if only the AG’s Office also had such weight like the Donors!!

  1. Yes let those bosses justify how they made their residential surroundings a “paradise”. Thank Heavens it was not GRZ money because had they embezzled GRZ funds they could have gotten away with it.

  2. Mr Ndambo you are a brilliant man You used they money wisely Just fight hard that they don’t reposses your farm Use your wife’s company to convinve them that they money came from her.

    • Look at this shameless blogger…this is why I detest drinking with some Zambians; they are people there like this **** who condone such behavior. These people don’t care about the 100 farmers who would have benefited.

  3. I have seen that farm estate and and it is breath taking, it is amazing…… but the first thing that came into my mind when I saw it was that the owner was a thief. I was right!


  5. We need tough laws for such people if we are to stop this nionsense. They should get 25 to 35 years jail so that all public servants can learn from this. Please don’t give them 2 years.

    • They will not even get two years!

      Lungu will pardon them and then give them positions in Government as ambassadors or put them in charge of the FRA.

      And then they will share the proceeds to add to his 230 million!

    • Zambian laws are lax…whatever they will do minus half for good behaviour or even worse Lazy Bum Edgar will pardon them on either Independence day or Christmas day. But he will think twice as this donor’s funds not GRZ funds for docile Zambians.

  6. Shame on these crooks. I remember Ndambo Ndambno bragging that he would have a press conference at his mansion. So even Dr Nguleka is a crook? Shame.

    Zechariah 5:3-4 3Then he said to me, “This is the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land; surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears will be purged away according to the writing on the other side. 4″I will make it go forth,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name; and it…

  8. Kwena baGeneral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! muli ————–ba. when people are talking about serious issues. You see it fit to advertise for a house. I thought you being in Mazabuka a farming town should be more concerned with what has happened at ZNFU. Some people, I wonder how they think. Sad development at ZNFU. we thought women don’t steal. What a way to go Dr. Nguleka. You have shamed us (Zambians). I remember those banzungu farmers saying we couldn’t manage ZNFU and they thought by bring a Zambian women president money would be saved. Mwasebana baane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Young boys and girls making us older men look foolish in the eyes of family and friends for not having fully developed the pieces of land we own kanshi bena niba kazolo..!

  10. Guys try to merciful when stealing. how can you steal such huge amounts? No,No,NO you have to be punished,jail is for you.

  11. My heart has become very heavy at these revelations, I will have difficulties supporting leaders. Does It has to take donor countries to catch corrupt practices in our midst and not our own government ? I no doubt love HE ECL. But I struggle to believe whether he like the late King Cobra term his ministers or generally root out corruption. Thanks for massive work going on throughout zambia and keep it . But my president engage in more powerful gear to run down these shameless vultures

    • Government could not know about it because that institution is autonomous and the revelations are as a result of an audit. So someone has complained to govt and it has acted.

    • Your President ECL also has assets whose source he cannot explain. In January 2015, he declared that he had K10.9million. Then 15 months later (2016) he declared that he now had K23.7million. that’s an increase of k13million in personal wealth. Try and ask him to tell you where he got that K13million from. After you get the answer, please let us know.

  12. What a shameful act by these selfish Zambians. Please cage them and reposes all the properties acquired by these criminals. How on earth can someone steal K169,000 just for house hold furniture at the expense of poor farmers.

  13. I was almost convinced by some sections of the Zambian society that only Bembas were thieves! Iyo efilya batila “u wauma nafyala omina limo!” (whoever dares to beat his/her mother-in-law must ensure to deliver a ‘good’ beating”)

  14. And if the donors had decided to bring their own people to be working in that organization you would have been the same people complaining that we can also do the work. But honestly they wouldn’t be wrong because this kind of theft is too much. What is wrong with you people who have good positions kanshi? You are already getting $15,000 and you still steal? Finshi mufwaya kanshi? mxxxm

  15. The board of directors should be dissolved and investigated also. It is very irresponsible for the president of the union to tell off the donors.. I think the whole lot of the me board members should be fired they have failed.

  16. Unfortunately, the theft that has or will be exposed at ZNFU is exactly what is obtaining in all institutions especially those at the highest level (apex of political system). No wonder socio – economic development will always elude us Zambians.

  17. Once upon a time, I bailed out an accountant friend of mine 3 times for a police bond. On each occassion, money hand gone missing at the institution he worked as Accountant and acting CEO. I know that there many accountants and CEOs who live with professional ethics, good conduct and and are above board.

    There is also a good number of Accountants/CEOs who are literally thieves and unfortunately, the system is very slow to flash them out even when warning signs are clearly there. As a result they end up doing catastrophic things such as these revelations.

    I urge the Institute of Directors, Institute of Accountants and Institute of Auditors to work out something on how to deal with early warning signs in accountants and CEOs. This will avoid putting our country at risk.

  18. It is important that the scourge of corruption in Zambia is tackled without fear or favour. Although i am not privy to the facts, could it be strange coincidence that the people involved could be sympathisers of the Opposition and possibly belong to a certain tribe? The fight against corruption should be even handed. There are known State House Aides – past and present- who are suspects of massive corruption including the access to the President bribery case of $300,000 allegedly paid to one Aide which just disappeared in thin air. The fight against corruption will only gain credence with Zambians and donors if it is not selective.It is should not treat some people, especially those belonging to the ruling Party, as Sacred cows.

    • aweh just sit down iweeee and just work as a slave in you UK…. don’t talk about what you don’t know. You are even the chaps who stole before you went there. Infact change your nationality so that you can be a full time British poodle. Hopeless!!!!

  19. LT, please note DEC and ACC are two different bodies of government dealing with different issues. I find this repeated mistake very embarassing. ATASE!

  20. @1.2 Qwela chiti Snr, don’t be freak. President Lungu’s declaration of assets contains nothing unusual. He has listed all the small items that make up the K23million, like a few small plots, a small house and an office suite there at Lex house. And the declaration in terms of otems does not differ much from 2015. Just an issue of evaluation and depreciation of kwacha. I would be worried if the assets included estates or houses like HH’s. And I settled this with Spaka like lilo the UPND cadre blogger, ask him.

  21. …contd
    At the same time before the 2026 elections, I showed that HH’s declaration was the one to be questioned. What he declared did mot even amount to the value of some of the cattle that he owns as given by UPND cadres themselves in their usual unguarded excited mood. I showed and proved that HH grossly underdeclared his assets under oath. I stated then and I repeat it here that HH lied under oath, he is liable to prosecution on Perjury charges. Evidence is at ECZ and is in the public domain including the Past news of Mmembe. The trial should ladt only 14 days excluding weekends and holidays. There you are ECZ and DEC, I challenge you to do the needful.

  22. This case may just be another circus with our Judiciary. It will drag on and on for so many years till end with acquittal. Remember the Henry Kapoko saga, he’s today the streets a free man. Shame on us. DEC must just confiscate these I’ll gotten farms and sell them to recover the monies. Senseless and shameless educated minions.

  23. Meawhile why is the Acting President of ZNFU Lishimba still denying the authenticity of the audit reports. Is he another guilty party? As it is said, the guilty are afraid. Is Lishimba trying to hide something? How come only the President and Executive Director were involved in this? Let people go to Lishimba’s farm, they will be surprised what they will find there? I propose that DEC extends the investigations to Lishimba as well. There is more than what meets the eye in this ZNFU saga. I do not believe only 2 people were involved.

    • @ Paya, I agree with you let DEC investigate all of them they are criminals. How can they be so protective, that’s public money its not theirs, those thieves

  24. Tongas steal become rich and boast that they are rich and ithers are poor, Most of them accumulated wealth through theft starting from Mazoka who stole cattle from Botswana which were enroute to Congo and the commission of enquiry proved so, HH isw also a thief. Most of them are cattle rustlers but they want to make us believe that they are clean. You are not very clever after all

    • Nabula fye is talking……

      A popular joke by a Comedian is that bana mayo there is a xxx, hold tight to your hand bag!!

  25. Did you know that he first people recorded to have stollen public funds after Zambia attained its independence store from Southern Province African Agricultural Improvement Fund (SPAFIF).

    If you want to know how late Anderson Mazoka amassed his wealth(MHSRIP) , read the Mumpashya Commission of Enquiry appointed by Dr Kaunda to enquire into the theft of hundreds of cattle which went missing in transist to when MAzoka was the Genereal Manager of Zambia Railwys.
    The senior most Zambian politician ever detained by Dr Kaunda for drug trafficking was Dr Vernon Mwaanga

    • @Dave
      He is a member of the Bantu Botatwe supporting your ilk. You are just disappointed that your cowdung people are thieves here

  26. Most farms around Chongwe, just drive off the Great East into their own dirt roads, to their estates, this mans tarred his using public funds! Our private road into our family estate in Chongwe, since 1976 or so is still untarred. So theft is what it takes! What type of furniture was he buying at that cost! Private zoo and all! We just do with our cows, pigs etc…how exotic! Maybe they’ll turn it into a public zoo like Munda Wanga so the public can enjoy their money!! How greedy! Sinful!

  27. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of corruption in Zambia. People just watch government and other officials like these, amass immeasurable unexplained wealth in record time and turn a blind eye. Ati ‘kabili ni ba minister’. The sharing of Zambia’s wealth continues unabated in this regime that has no aorta of decency nor any political will, never mind plan or policy to tackle corruption – essentially because the very institutions that are expected to be impartial and independent in robustly and professionally dealing with corruption, have their hands intertwined with those of the politicians in the honey pot. As its been said on so many occasions, (with very few listening) Zambia is a wealthy country that is at the same time one of the poorest in the world.

  28. How government drivers steal from the government : They connive with fuel Attendants by indicating more litres on receipt while the actual filled far less. Then they meet in the afternoon to share the “spoils ” Zambia is doomed because corruption has even entered into families.

    • In 1994, I wrote a paper entitled; “cost consious climate needed in the Zambian Government”. All top civil servants then, were very upset with me because it was a factual report, I ended up being punished by my boss and the entire system did not protect me.

      If I was allowed to write another one on the same subject, I may end up in jail as things are now worse.

      This is a country where thieves are protected by Law enforcement officers and evidence manipulated so that they are found not guilty in courts of Law and set free. At the same time, we have some men and women in uniform who stand by God’s word but they are being frustrated by other officers who live in the fast lane. Zambia, what a country!!!!!!!!


  30. This is greedy pure evil i hope these criminals are under military 24 hrs surveillance before they distribute stolen property to there relatives, he had $15000 as his monthly salary he was even way more than the President of Zambia and still not enough shame on you. If these people were in America they would go for a good 20 to 30 yrs in Prison, luck you’re in Zambia where corruption is above the Law.

  31. Is your tribal heritage an important issue in deciding whether you are a “good” or “evil” person?
    /Swedish taxpayer

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