By Concerned Citizens
As citizens who care about our country Zambia, we feel it is our duty to report any activities that may compromise the integrity of the government and the country.
We have proof at this time and that our allegations are correct, and the circumstances are certainly disturbing. We wish to bring to your attention and the public the level of corruption and abuse of authority that the Honourable Felix Mutati has been engaged in for years now, during his previous ministerial position as Minister of Commerce.
This country already infamous in its style of working is now faced with the new problem of having Hon. Mutati as Minister of Finance.
It has become almost impossible to deal with the Ministry of Finance without bribing the Minister. Everyone from down to top is openly asking for money. The role of the Anti-Corruption Commission is also mysterious in this regard. They seem to be the only organisation not knowing about this and often fail to take any steps even after receiving the complaints. They rather ignore it and are also involved with the officers.
It’s also shame that people agree to pay the bribe and extra amount when they are entitled for the services and can take steps in this regard. It’s immediately required that enquiry be set up and the image of the Ministry of Finance is improved to install people’s faith in this system.
Very respectfully, the Public Accountability should be a public spirited prime objective of ensuring that public officials entrusted with public resources do not abuse the same and the influence accruing from their offices, for personal gain. Our aim is to provide information in order to enforce public accountability and to render the issue of corruption, politically expensive for any government official.
It is against this background that we humbly present the instant complaint bordering on facts of corruption, abuse of power and office by the current Minister of Finance, the Honourable Felix Mutati.
The complaint of corruption and abuse of office is hinged on the acquisition by the Honourable Minister of certain massive projects undertaken by him which are utterly inconsistent with and insupportable by government procedures.
Without further ado, we hereby proceed to give particulars of our allegations.
1. During the MMD era under former President Banda, Hon. Felix Mutati who is the current Minister of Finance, at the time he was Commerce Minister illegally facilitated the establishment of Pepsi Company in Zambia without following the right procedures. Hon. Mutati personally was paid by Pepsi in order to be given the tax rebate for 5 years, and other conditions that disadvantaged other companies and indeed local companies in Zambia.
During his time as commerce Minister he travelled to India and met high ranking Pepsi officials and assured them that they can invest in Zambia, at the time Mutati received huge sums of money for his personal use to facilitate the establishment of Pepsi in Zambia. During President Sata’s government Mutati was actually interrogated by the Zambia Police and a statement was recorded from him, but the case just did not proceed due to that he had corrupted the police officers who were handling the case. Upon being probed by a section of the Zambia Police, Hon. Mutati, after a series of inconsistent denials, alleged that he had helped the country to bring investment.
With the explanation offered by Hon Mutati, the following questions are begging for answers:
(i) What was the exact nature of the tax exemption that was given to Pepsi by Hon. Mutati?
(ii) What was the value of the taxes the government lost for the period in question?
(iii)What were the tax penalties for Pepsi?
(iv) What was the guarantee and who was the guarantor?
2. During the same period of the MMD under Former president Banda, Hon. Mutati again presided over a very corrupt transaction involving a local registered company called Sanitary World Limited under the auspices of Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).
It is on record that with the influence of Hon. Mutati CEEC funded a project which was to be undertaken by Sanitary world Limited to procure machinery that could produce diapers locally under the theme “Proudly Zambian”.
However, Hon. Mutati connived with CEEC and ZDA officials to procure containers of already made diapers from [Nanjing Biaoyue International Trade Co. Limited of China and pocketed Thousands of dollars. As if that wasn’t enough Hon. Mutati went ahead and officiated the commissioning of the purported project by Sanitary World limited, which was held at Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel.
Although at the time President Banda was present to officiate on this project, Hon. Mutati knew that he had manipulated his boss into believing that the project was real and existed in Kafue, when in fact the project only existed on paper.
The diapers were floated on the Zambian market in chain stores like Shoprite, Pick n Pay and Spar were purported to have been produced here in Zambia when in fact the Honourable Minster of Commerce at the time Felix Mutati was overseeing the importation of the said products in order to benefit himself and the people he was using to syphon money from CEEC.
We challenge the Honourable Minister of Finance Felix Mutati to show the nation where they established a factory for Sanitary World Limited which was producing diapers. This is the kind of a person our country has trusted with the finances of our nation in the position of Minister of Finance.
Therefore, in the next five (5) years we the people of Zambia must abreast ourselves to have the Ministry of Finance presided over by a corrupt minded individual. Let the law enforcement agencies although they are toothless when it comes to such matters unless political issues, institute an investigation into the allegations raised so that the nation can be accorded the opportunity to know all the facts about Mutati’s corrupt activities which has been involved in.
The foregoing represents how far in excess of reasonable expectation of Mutati’s integrity as current Finance Minister. Clearly, Hon. Mutati was financed for the execution of all these massive projects with the support of some Ministers in Banda’s government. There is absolutely no record with any state agency which suggests any such actions were right. Prima facie, it indicates corruption and an abuse of his position as a Minister of Commerce at the time.
The instant investigation into the matters raised should not, with the greatest respect, be construed as a witch-hunt against Hon Mutati. He only represents the first example of our eagerness to demand accountability from public officials. Mutati is test case of corruption and the fight against the same.
We wish to indicate our preparedness to co-operate with the investigating agencies towards the investigation of the matters raised in this humble petition and to provide detailed documentary evidence about the allegations raised.