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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Finland claiming K34 million refund from ZNFU

General News Finland claiming K34 million refund from ZNFU

ZAMBIA National Farmers Union (ZNFU) executive director Ndambo Ndambo (left) and Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen during the signing ceremony of a Four million Euros bilateral agreement to finance the Core Support Programme (CSP) in Lusaka
File:ZAMBIA National Farmers Union (ZNFU) executive director Ndambo Ndambo (left) and Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen during the signing ceremony of a Four million Euros bilateral agreement to finance the Core Support Programme (CSP) in Lusaka in 2014

Finland says it is has entered into discussions with the new management at Zambia National Farmers’ Union in a bid to claim back the misused funds from the Union.

Speaking during the Finish National Day held at his residence on Wednesday, Finish Ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen said Zambian farmers deserve a strong, credible, well-governed and managed Union which promotes not only their interests but that of the county’s agricultural in general.

Mr Olkkonen also urged the new Union management to do their best in putting back the Union back on track.

“Finland is claiming back the misused funds from the Union, and we have entered into discussions with the new management of ZNFU on the issue. Zambian farmers deserve a strong, credible,a well-governed and managed Union to promote their interests and that of Zambian agricultural in general. Though our cooperation cannot continue as it used to, I wish the new management the best of success in putting the Union back on track,” he said.

In September last year, Sweden and Finland donors asked for the refund of the K 34 million allegedly misappropriated by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU).

Embassy of Sweden Deputy Head of Mission David Wiking at the time said that although the official process had not yet commenced, the two embassies had legal grounds to reclaim the funds.

Wiking, who is also Head of Bilateral Development Cooperation, further disclosed that his country and Finland would not continue funding ZNFU under the existing agreements with the Union.

He said the two countries have taken the bold decision of claiming a refund following the recent two corrective financial reviews carried out by KPMG of Finland.

Former ZNFU officials including the former President of the Union are in court on alleged corruption charges.

Meanwhile, the Finnish envoy also bemoaned the high levels of corruption in the country which he said should not be allowed to continue.

“This leads me to the issue of corruption. On that account, no compromise can be made. Unfortunately the ZNFU case was not the only one where we have encountered corruption in Zambia. We have had to deal with the issue in our cooperation with NGOs and also hear complaints about unfair treatment from Finnish businesses. A case in point were the thousands and thousands of ghost farmers exposed in the e-voucher scheme, also supported by Finland, of the Farmer Input Support Programme.”

He further explained that tackling corruption goes with economic reform agenda which has been put forward by the government.

Ambassador Olkkonen said stealing public funds is taking away money which belongs to Zambians meant to go towards development.

He commended Finance Minister Felix Mutati for tackling the economy challenges facing the country in an honest and open manner saying “government has a mandate of five years and that the time to make difficulty decisions is now”.

Further, the Ambassador noted that Zambia despite making significant growth in the economy, the country has not made any progress in the fight against poverty.

“I commend the government and Finance Minister Mutati of tackling the economic difficulties facing the nation and the serious public fiscal deficit in an honest and open manner. The government has a mandate for five years and the time to make difficulty decisions, even painful decisions, is now.

I am sure that everyone in government, the National Assembly and the Civil service rally behind the reform agenda, Zambia’s macroeconomics will be back on track soon,” he said.

He added ” with a Gini coefficient of 0.69 Zambia is one of the most unequal countries in the world. The economy has grown significantly without a reduction in poverty levels and so far policy measures seem to have been unable to produce pro-poor growth.”

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  1. “This leads me to the issue of corruption. On that account, no compromise can be made. Unfortunately the ZNFU case was not the only one where we have encountered corruption in Zambia. We have had to deal with the issue in our cooperation with NGOs and also hear complaints about unfair treatment from Finnish businesses. A case in point were the thousands and thousands of ghost farmers exposed in the e-voucher scheme, also supported by Finland, of the Farmer Input Support Programme.”


    • You’ve spoiled your otherwise positive contribution by adding remarks on a political party. You know very well that corruption has been growing among Zambians regardless of political affiliation. In fact the former CEO of the Union is a member of an opposition party but that doesn’t mean that political party is corrupt.

    • Ndanje… he said “Under” PF. It means the reported corruption is happening under PF’s watch. It doesn’t matter how long the corruption has been going on, there’s evidence that it has gotten worse, instead of less, during PF’s tenure. Part of the responsibilities of a government is to actively and vigorously fight corruption, not to ignore it or even promote it, as is the case now with PF. A few weeks ago, Lungu reported that his ministers were already looting the national coffers. Also the Auditor General’s Report showed that a lot of money has gone missing with no explanation. When parliament was dissolved this year, Lungu allowed his ministers to illegally remain in office, getting salaries and bonuses. The CONCOURT ordered them to vacate the offices and pay back the money…

    • (Continued)… Apparently they haven’t paid back a single Ngwee and no one is holding them accountable. Lungu himself has increased his assets, as reported before the election, from k10million to K23million with no explanation as to where he got all this money from. All this has been happening under PF’s watch. So they deserve to be blamed for the current increase in corruption.

    • It’s not a question of English it’s the insinuation. Even during Levy ‘s time one Scandinavian country withdrew aid to our health instructions due to thefts. Thieving is in born among you people.

  2. Ayowe! So that Executive Director was greedily looking at the figures that Finnish guy was signing from the taxpayers of Finland!? Muza kaula manje a mambala! Europe and Scandinavia are feeling the economic pinch and now they are particular about their tax donations to you. It will not be easy to dip anymore!! So now we will see the real THIEVES!!

  3. Seen Ndambosface as he signs??? Mouth watering on how much share he is gonna get as they slice with that woman president doctor fimofimo. Vi imbwa!!

  4. This is embarrassing to all well-meaning Zambians to say the least. We are slowly losing the capacity to be ashamed at leadership level. As a result, that same lack of shame trickles down to lower ranks and the masses. This is a simple fact of truth.
    Edgar Lungu whilst at plot one is UNASHAMEDLY NOT ABLE to tell the nation how he legally made K23 million within 18 months, nor what Tax he paid thereof. C. Kamblili whilst a minister in Govt, is UNASHAMEDLY NOT ABLE to tell WHERE he legally got the money to build those big mansions in the golf course in Luanshya, nor what Tax he paid thereof. Now NFU has joined in. soon, Etc.. etc..
    This sends a wrong and brain-damaging message to the masses, particularly the youth, that you have to be dishonest and corrupt to be a leader and to…

  5. Cont’d… to succeed in life and be happy. This is completely FALSE.

    FEELING REMORSEFUL AND ASHAMED when you do something wrong IS A GOOD GOD-GIVEN SELF-CORRECTING INGREDIENT in our DNA. It is ubuntu, as my grandmother used to tell me. It is what separates humans from animals. It is the foundation for good legislation in a society of people.

    • Unfortunately these people in charge of govt have non-functioning, dead consciences. They are shameless, inhuman, immoral, thieves, drunkards, evil, murderers.

  6. Ati SONTAPO EPO WAMBOMBA – DUNUNA in Reverse gear…!! Union director should give the funds back and the government should bring the top managers to bookAND ALL Reposse the property bought with stolen funds

  7. A Lozi man and a Luvale woman have misappropriated the funds at ZNFU. So, stealing doesn’t know any boundaries. Maybe they are false accusations.

    • Though name Ndambo Ndambo sounds very much Lozi, he is from Southern Province he can’t even speak a shed of Lozi. Otherwise wrong doing knows no race, colour, tribe or creed.

    • @Sicaba, why are you scrambling? Suddenly the silence about the usual “thieves” is very, very loud. There is a very civil discussion nonetheless but I doubt it would have been this civil or decent if it was THE tribe involved… bias is a very, very bad thing bane. Osacita so iyayi…

    • Kalok zo ona mwana, I was equally surprised when I first met Ndambo my impression going by his name was that he was from Western Province, but he is not and he could not utter a word in Lozi. Not that it really matters as Lozis’ are also found in Southern Province. Fortunately for me tribe is not an issue and I know better not to attack anyone on tribal grounds, my ancestry is a combination of different tribes, my own nuclear family is also composition of different tribes, my closest friends are from other tribes. I can also speak fairly well all 4 main Zambian languages.

    • Terrible, they must pay back all they stole very shameful. We thought Bembas and Easterners are the thugs of this country, so the Westerners have let us down. BUsholi bumaswe. Mukaisee

  8. Imagine the money is from taxes collected from citizens of the donor country and here in Zambia people are evading tax. If those people can do it why can’t we do it here and fund our projects?

    • Well said, @Ndanje Khakis. Matter of fact if we were really serious we could be a donor country, too but alas, we squander what we have and steal what we receive in donations.

    • Because Zambia needs foreign money to import goods. Those countries make their own goods. We buy from outside. See the difference? Our money I’d useless in and outside Zambia. Their money is useful in their country and in Zambia. Seen?

    • 1plus1 You’re getting defeated even before you try. Your Kwacha is very useful internally. If you collect enough taxes you can employ many people as road patchers, garbage collectors etc. It’s up to you to make the Kwacha convertable especially in the Sub region where Zambian maize is selling well. Let’s not look down on ourselves.

  9. The bigwigs at ZNFU should tell us where they took the money.Ndambo Ndambo’s residence is a ‘paradise’. These thieves should be have their ill-gotten properties seized.

  10. Finland is entitled to claim misused fund. It’s Finland tax payers money.
    In Finland the tax payers money is accountable.
    In Zambia, there’s no accountability and all those who are holding big positions in government and quasi government all are cadres for the ruling party. So they don’t go to jail under any circumstances.
    Finland get the money back and stop funding these programs.

  11. Yes this is not the only Corruption Saga, The United Nations Should recover $500,000 from its implicated Zambian staff members and Gilbert Phiri of PNP Advocates and their accomplices and members of the judiciary for illegally siphoning $300,000 worth of my belongsings and extorting over $200,000 in fraudulent litigations. Then all UN donor countries must press the UN Security Council to come up with an extraordinary chamber in the courts of Zambia or outside Zambia or forward these bandits to the ICC for them to be processed. Gilbert Phiri cannot induce court Marshals and registry clerks and others to steal a Brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee and chocolate interio furniture and electricals in abuse of the court process and then embark on assassinating me, as a method of getting away with…

  12. Zambia has, to a large extent, become a morally bankrupt society especially among the political class, where low standards have become acceptable. Corruption is endemic and socially acceptable and the electorate find no problems in voting for a highly corrupt political party such as PF. Edgar Lungu was found guilty of having embezelled client money but the voters overwhelmingly voted for him. Where did we draw the line?

  13. This is embarrassing and not a good way to go for our country. We are not just going to lose such funds From Finland only, it will also save as a reference point to other countries wanting to help out our agricultural sector. The CEO of ZNFU has not just dented his name but that of our country to and it takes quite a long time to build a good and admirable reputation. Can we learn to control our greediness.

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