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Government Responds to British High Commissioner to Zambia on Reports of Corruption and Debt

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Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya
Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya

The government says it has been taken aback by the issues raised by British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane Dyet in his farewell statement yesterday. Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya says Zambia has never failed to meet its debt obligations. Ms Siliya says it ought to be realized that Government contracts debt on behalf of and for the benefit of the Zambian people.

On Corruption, Ms Siliya said Government has never and will not under-play the seriousness of corruption and its effects on the country. She said this can be seen in the various measures Government has and continues to undertake to fight the scourge.

Below is a full statement

Republic of Zambia
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services

GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON THE STATEMENT BY OUT-GOING BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER TO ZAMBIA MR. FERGUS COCHRANE – DYET OBE

Government has taken note of the remarks by Out-going British High Commissioner to Zambia Mr. Fergus Cochrane – Dyet O.B.E and wish him well as he goes back to the United Kingdom. The government also wishes to appreciate the High Commissioner’s role to foster relations between Zambia and the United Kingdom during his tenure. We hope that the United Kingdom will deal with the Brexit matter successfully so that Zambia and the United Kingdom can continue to have a mutually beneficial relationship.

However, Government has been taken aback by the issues the High Commissioner has raised in his farewell statement and wishes to respond as follows:

1. DEBT

As recently stated by the Minister of Finance Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu, Zambia has never failed to meet its debt obligations. It ought to be realized that the Government of the Republic of Zambia contracts debt on behalf of and for the benefit of the Zambian people. Government, therefore, remains committed to repaying its outstanding debt, now and in the future. It should be noted that even developed countries all over the world contract debt for their development and other programme just like Zambia has done.

2. CORRUPTION

Government has never and will not under-play the seriousness of corruption and its effects on the country. This can be seen in the various measures Government has and continues to undertake to fight the scourge. This is one country where there are no sacred cows as shown in the many high profile cases before the courts of law.

Added to this is Government’s hands-off approach to the various Anti Corruption agencies, which are free to investigate and prosecute anyone suspected of wrong doing. The media is equally abuzz daily, with stories on corruption and other malpractices. This is healthy and it is the desire of Government that this fight is fought transparently and objectively, in which there are no sacred cows.
It is unprecedented in the region that the fight against corruption can be so high on the country’s agenda. It is a fact that Zambians themselves have propelled corruption to the very top of the country’s agenda which makes it seem as though corruption exists only in our country when infact corruption is a worldwide scourge.

3. POLITICAL DIALOGUE

Since Zambia gained independence in 1964, it has peacefully and successfully changed political parties in power three times. In the course of this, we have had six Presidents elected by the Zambian people eligible to vote in General elections. Government wishes to put it on record that every President in Zambia has been elected in a general election by the people of Zambia and not a political party. Zambians have the capacity and necessary abilities to resolve their own issues.

4. DROUGHT/HUNGER SITUATION

Zambia is a sovereign state and reserves the right to make independent decisions on any matter in the interest of its citizens. According to the Disaster Management Act No. 13 of 2010, it is a preserve of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia to declare a national disaster. This Act is also very clear on the procedure that is followed to declare a national disaster.
Government acknowledges that the hunger situation in some parts of the country is serious and is doing everything possible to ensure that food is distributed to all the needy people. The key issue that is considered in declaring a national disaster, is the severity of the incident and the affected communities’ capacity to cope, in conjunction with Government interventions.
Government reiterates that resources are available to deal with the food insecurity that has resulted from the poor crop yield in the 2018/2019 farming season. As such Government has the capacity to deal with the situation, without the need to rush to declare a national disaster.

The distribution of relief food by Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit is on-going.

5. FREEDOM OF MEDIA AND EXPRESSION

It ought to be appreciated that the fact that the out-going British High Commissioner can speak freely and at length as he leaves Zambia, is a sign of the freedom of expression cherished and upheld by Zambians. His press briefing has been widely covered by our local media in Zambia, which clearly shows that there is press freedom and freedom of expression in our country.
The Zambian media are able to write freely about any issue of public and national interest such as corruption, regardless of who is involved. Besides, we have also continued to experience an upswing in the number of new media institutions, with the full support of the Zambian Government through the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) who issue broadcasting licenses. All this cannot be attributed to anything else but a favourable environment for the media to operate and grow.

The out-going High Commissioner should be reminded that freedom is not absolute. It comes with responsibility. In this regard, Government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from any harm that might arise from careless media conduct, such as inflammatory statements and fake news.

Government is happy that the media practitioners and journalists themselves, have seen the need for self-regulation and they have voluntarily come together and agreed on a self-regulatory framework, which Government will fully support.

Government reiterates its commitment to continued excellent relations with the United Kingdom and wishes His Excellency Mr. Cochrane-Dyte O.B.E the best in his future endeavors.

Chanda Kasolo
PERMANENT SECRETARY
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES

27th August, 2019

55 COMMENTS

  1. Ba mayo Minister Siliya, did you just resurrect together with Charles Banda from the dead straight into your neighbourhood on Robert Kennedy Close? …

    • The chap was actually Africa Confidential informant.
      About the hunger situation, he wanted kick backs from his counterparts in the UK.

    • 1. Debt: Nop, PF cintracted the debts for themselves and their benefit and not for the Zambian people. This is clear from buying a private jet for Lungu. Buying 42 wheelburrows for 42milion dollars so that they can benefit through corruption. Overpricing road contracts so that they benefit. All borrowed money meant to benefit PF thieves.

      2. Corruption: There are corrupt ministers who are still serving. One has 48 houses, another had 6million usd and 17million in his accounts which he cant explain. Also there was corruption in the 42 for 42, the overpriced ambulances, and many more
      Its a joke to claim that ACC works independently. Why did they drop the case of 48 houses and when there was public outcry lungu quickly ordered a reopening of the case. Now its quiet because they are hoping…

    • 3. Freedom of expression: Dora please. ati “the fact the the british high commissioner is able to speak freely is evidence….”. How silly. Like you can touch him. You know you will be sorted out.
      What about the case of the post and the tv stations that where threatened for broadcasting things that PF didnt like?
      Anyway. Enjoy your time. After all all you have to hope for is to enjoy the things of this life. But remember that even those things you may not enjoy, because death is always around the corner. Then who will enjoy those things you have stored up for yourselves by corruption

    • Look at ZNBC, Times of Zambia and Daily mail, what freedom of media and expression do these institutions preserve? What about the useless defamation laws and archaic PoA. Dora and Kasoloand your useless PF, does it have to take the British HC to make you see the wrongs of your govt. Is this what you advise Edgar? No wonder Lungu is always clueless

    • The government says it has been taken aback. Yaba! You are already so far back you cant be taken aback ba Siliya and your Lungu

    • What the highcommisioner said is
      What he has seen.madam Dora don’t defend your weakness.Donors
      Know where you Are weak.He has
      Said at the time of departing as he
      Knows even if he is expelled he does
      Not care.

    • The British are the most corrupt….and they love colonizing whilst stealing the resources…just let them deal with Brexit

    • The Truth hurts. What the outgoing British Govt said is true. There are numerous Corruption deals by Lungu and PF Govt. ECL and PF cannot fight Corruption becoz they are Corrupt to the Core from Head to Toe. Thru Corrupt Road Construction deals Zambia’ s Debt is no longer sustainable. The PF Govt don’t have much to show for this huge Debt. The PF Govt has no Respect for Constitutionalism, Rule of Law, Good Governance and Human Rights. As we talk PF is busy trying to rig 2021 Elections thru illegal Amendments to the Constitution. The PF Govt is the worst Govt ever in Zambia.

    • The Envoy’s comments on Zambia Debt, Corruption, Governance, Hunger and Economic Management are Spot. The record on PF Corruption is there and has led to Debt Distress. PF should declare Drought as a Disaster to get Donor Aid.

    • Ifinkula fyonse nifimunshebwa, kuya na matotoli Ku bapongoshi. Ati Government responds, which government? This *****tttsss think that their job is to defend incompetence, theft and corruption? Wait you fools, to everything there is time and not all days are Sundays.

  2. I think he was right about debt. Dyet was just insulting, thats not a way to leave a village who fed you.
    He should not have said a thing about corruption, and ambassador shouldn’t call our president as a weak man who can’t fight corruption.

    • Dora, just shut, these are the really problems u monkeys in PFoools pretend not see…… Oh sorry can’t understand because your IQ in ur ka party of dunder heads and id!ots

  3. Out of patriotism I will support Government and Dora Siliya because it is the colonialist who has created all the problems we have now attacking us. Look at their country .. what is happening in British today if it were to happen in Zambia, you would of seen how they would have called us barbaric and dictatorial.

    Imagine President Lungu suspending Parliament to just avoid it voting against something he is against. These guys would weigh in with their holier than though patronage and unleash all these briefcase NGOs on how dictatorial PF is. UK has dictorial moves to get BREXIT done , has Zambia commented or sponsored NGOs there? NO

    • Patriotism is to the country. Not to corrupt politicians who will take advantage of my patriotism to steal even more from my country. I can show patriotism to clean politicians such as Solomon Kalulu, Elijah Mudenda, Wilfred Mbilishi,

    • The man has certainly been a controversial figure, not befitting a diplomat. No wonder he was unceremoniously ‘evicted’ from MALAWI. One needs to watch what one says about a former COLONY.

      Personally I can’t wait to see the back of this person, really. Probably this guy fantasizes that we are still in colonial times..? Hopefully his replacement will be a breath of fresh air..

  4. Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya says Zambia has never failed to meet its debt obligations.

    What was HIPIC by the way ? Zambia was bankrupt and failed to meet its debt obligations. The creditors forgave the country of its debts and the argument for forbearance was that this money was borrowed to help liberate our neighbors and harbor refugees. The creditors bought the story and 90% of the debt was written
    off leaving $500m in 2005. Since then a period of 13 years the debt now stands at $20bn. Where has the money the gone?

    • Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. HIPC
      These countries couldn’t pay back inkongole so a mechanism had to be formulated to write off their debt. Ba Dora you don’t know this sure???

  5. BA LT, I WANT TO ASK IF THESE SAME GUYS ARE NOT CORRUPT PLEASE HELP ME BECAUSE I STAY IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY OTHER THAN ZAMBIA. HAVE THE SAID MINISTERS PAID THE MONEYS THE COURTS ORDREDRED THEM TO PAY BACK WHEN THEY OCCUPIED MINISTERIAL OFFICES DURING THE ELECTION TIME?

    HOW COME IF THEY DID NOT AND ARE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS REFUSING TO PAY BACK THE FUNDS? DORA SISLIYA MAY YOU HELP ZAMBIANS AS TO WHY UBUNGA HAS RISEN TO SUCH A LEVEL WHEN IN FACT YOU TOLD OFF FARMERS THAT THEY MUST NOT CRY FOR FERTILIZER THEY MUST DIVERSIFY THEIR CROPS INSTEAD OF CLING TO MAIZE AND WHAT IS TODAY WRONG?

  6. ”Zambia has never failed to meet its debt obligations.” Really!!!. Ever head of HIPC before. PFools.

    Putting fools as ministers and PSs and the risks of misrepresenting us. These chawama mafias are just going too far.

  7. The high commissioner was just saying what the zambian people wanted to say but can’t due to all the reasons mentioned aforesaid.

  8. Dorah Siliya has forgotten that Zambia got debt forgiveness in the 90’s and economic growth has slowed to 2% which means the debt will soon become unsustainable.History is on course to repeat again.

    • The man has certainly been a controversial figure, not befitting a diplomat. No wonder he was unceremoniously ‘evicted’ from Malawi. One needs to watch what one says about a former COLONY.
      Personally I can’t wait to see the back of this person, really. Probably this guy fantasizes that we are still in colonial times..? Hopefully his replacement will be a breath of fresh air..

  9. Only UPND sycophants and zealots and enemies can support the disgraced High Commissioner who used to peddle fake news to the Africa Confidential…Let him brace himself with the chaotic Brexit…

  10. The PF know they have badly messed up this country and that Zambians will punish them severely when out of power.They have no option but to defend the rot.PF have borrowed beyond limits and yet the country is experiencing severe power load shedding, widespread hunger,youth unemployment and high poverty levels.For how long will the PF go on pretending? The British High Commissioner is right on all points.PF
    are lucky that Zambians of this generation are docile.

  11. This rebuttal statement is embarrassing to say the least. Better to have cowered in silence than this. I feel embarrassed as a Zambian that this is where we are as a country.

    The so called leaders have zero scruples. How about owning up to some of the short comings unless you say the rest of us are blind. Which we are not, fortunately.

  12. The problem with Zambians is that you are too dull and gullible. You are cowards. Your friends in malawi even have more courage than you. Look at Sudan.. wake up u hyenas.

  13. Out-going British High Commissioner to Zambia Mr. Fergus Cochrane – Dyet lived in Zambia with a warped belief that being white, he had the monopoly of wisdom in Africa. Apparently, civilization and wisdom is never generated from the subcutaneous tissues of white skins. Fergus Cochrane – Dyet’s stay in Zambia was blurred by extreme racism. Many Zambians who lived in UK know but never comment on the tribal hostilities between the English on one hand versus the Irish, Welsh & Scottish on the other hand. His departure will not be missed because Fergus Cochrane – Dyet was not a professional Diplomat. Let him go home to face the realities of Brexit in UK.

  14. The problem is that Hon Dora and her colleagues think that we don’t see their tricks. For example they claim that ACC is independent to investigate high profile cases, yes they do but that is the new tactic to hoodwink the masses. The truth is that ACC withholds critical evidence when a case goes to court. Just look at the recent case where $300,000 was known publicly to have been paid to an accused and yet they chose to withhold that vital piece of evidence, and even the magistrate wondered how and why.
    No wonder competent investigators are resigning as stated by the acting Director general, professionals will definitely be frustrated to be directed to do wrong things and lose cases in cases looking incompetent. Forest 27 you have failed to explain it. Madam dont deceive yourselves…

  15. The only problem that we currently face is that UPND and HH are NO OPTION for us. Let a new force come on the scene with or without funding but with attractive ideas and we shall re-locate. Not these fake news imposters called UPND, no better than the fake fairy tales that Sata used to hoodwink the ignorant masses, more money in your pockets, etc all within ninety days.

  16. As for Zambia’s debt l, Hon Dora please don’t be dumb, you let me down with your defence. No one denies that all countries borrow, but the issue is how you borrow and the sysysibability of your borrowing. To the extent of 90% of your GDP come on Hon Dora, you can do better. Its like a
    bank teller borrowing money to buy a BMW, how dies he pay back? During the period of the loan payment how dies he feed his family? Come on Hon Dora, I told you that we are not sleepy. And the IMF is listening to your stubbirn but lame excuses, how are they going to agree to help us? Are you going to remain stubborn the impact on citizens and the economy state you in the face and hits the citizens? You sound like Comical Ali of Saddam’s Iraq.

  17. Cochrane Dyet has hit you hard on the nose Hon Dora and you and your colleagues have no answer to that, better to just keep quiet than embarrass yourself further. In one breath you are accusing him of fake news which you want to fight and in the same breath you are suggesting that it’s freedom of expression which you allow in Zambia, which is which?

  18. the commissioner knows exactly what he was talking about. its good sometimes to reply with an apology. nothing wrong with that everyone is in the know that all the things said are not fabrication.

  19. All what the British High Commissioner to Zambia said on his departure is true and we don’t need to pretend or talk about Brexit when things are not okay in Zambia. Corruption is on the increase and no one is willing to show leadership as to move the Country out of this mess. The hunger situation is real unless you are a beneficiary of this corruption you can pretend not to see it. Declaring the hunger situation would attract donors to come and help before lives are lost because of silly ego that will not take us anywhere.

  20. It was during the reign of Fergus Cochrane – Dyet’s tenure as Ambassador to Zambia when the British exposed their racial approach in Africa. It was during his stay in this country when Zambia returned back the so-called British funding. During Mwanawasa’s presidency the American and British interests tried to blackmail and force Zambia to purchase GMO-laced maize. Success of Zambia’s agricultural development is linked to that colonial saga. HH and UPND followers are free to migrate and accompany Fergus Cochrane to UK. God bless Zambia.

  21. That White skinned pig is suffering from colonial rigidity. Go and feel the weight of EU as they slaughter you on Brexit

  22. Wow and backed up by sick racist comments by some toads here. It should be easy to survive without UK aid 56 years after independence so why can’t we do so? Then racist comments might be more appropriate. Oh and Dora shoul finish by saying Sata is gay and “admire my bums”

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