The state cannot be represented by very corrupt, bribable, power and money hungry politicians who if paid handsomely enough can even insult themselves publicly and be expected to yield plausible results. Entrusting individuals like home affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo, Defence Minister Davies Chama, Justice Minister Given Lubinda, Finance minister Felix Mutati, Agriculture minister Dora Siliya with instruments of power is tantamount to acquiring an express ticket to an economic sabotage. These people are given to parading with political statements on the media which make them seem like they are working in the best interest of the people of Zambia but when in the actual sense they are only concerned with the acquisition of taxpayers wealth. It seems like their foresight and interpretation of the practical translation of the national decisions they make is humongously derailed due to their putrid blatant characters of thinking about their bellies before they can consider the people they serve. Maybe we take a look at the few incidences where we have been lucky to have actually been availed with information concerning their fraudulent activities.
I thought since they have been singing about diversification into the agriculture sector they are supposed to be supporting farmers in every way that they can
During the MMD era 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 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.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.
THE MALAWIAN Joint Committee of Parliament took to probe the maizegate scandal which exposed Zambia Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya’s. The deatails are that she flouted the legal procedure by instructing her Permanent Secretary to issue a Maize export permit of 50,000 metric tons to an illegal Transglobe Export Produce Ltd.
The Committee discovered that Transglobe did not qualify to undertake such a transaction because it was not registered tax payer in Zambia. The committee also discovered that Transglobe fraudulently connived with Malawian Minister of Agriculture Dr George Chaponda to get it business to supply the maize.
Again, while Minister of Transport and Communications in the Rupiah Banda led regime, Dora Siliya again flouted tender procedures by signing an agreement with a Cayman Island registered company for the valuation of the assets of ZAMTEL.
The Attorney General had advised Dora not to sign before certain issues were addressed but she disregarded the advise and signed a US$2 million deal.
On February 25, 2009 a tribunal was put up against Siliya led by Supreme Court Judge Dennis Chirwa – she was found guilty as charged, and she was forced to resign as a minister after so much resistance.
Anyway I am surprised that some people are surprised that these people are capable of such indeferrence towards the people who gave them the powers they have.Notwithstanding, I have failed to see how the ministers failed to see that reducing the floor for the purchase of a 50 KG bag of maize from a last year campaign price of K85 to K60 is injurious to the peasant farmers agriculture business.
I thought since they have been singing about diversification into the agriculture sector they are supposed to be supporting farmers in every way that they can. Maybe they are suffering from amnesia, if I recal very well, firstly,in the last farming season farms were ravaged by army worms which made the cost of farming to go up because farmers had to replant most of the crops.
Secondly the cost of farming was high last year because the kwacha was trading at K14 per $1. If anything the price for selling a bag of mealie meal was supposed to go up. Thirdly the delivery of inputs by the outdated FISP was pathetic. Inputs were delivered very late and caused farming to be a disaster for some farmers. We are likely to see a situation where farmers are going to bail out in the next farming season, poverty is going to increase from 75% to elevated levels as farmers are going to be so financially squeezed that they will be failing to pay for their children’s school fees or buy daily necessities like cooking oil, sugar and salt. This is nothing short of killing farmers and their business actively. And they are risking the failure of the precarious improvement of the agriculture sector.
All in all, we understand that they are trying to impress the nation with figures like single digit inflation rate and the price of mealie meal but they shouldn’t forget that victory gotten at the expence of others is no victory at all. So I am appealing to Hon Felix Mutati, Dora Siliya and President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to take time to think about these decisions and how they are affecting us the poor Zambians. And also to remember that 2021 is not as far as others may think.
By David Chishimba
Rainbow Party Coperbelt Youth Vice IPS