United Party for National Development (UPND) has challenged President Edgar Lungu to set up a Commission of Inquiry in privatization and explain his role in the privatization of Zambia Cold Storage Board Limited and explain to what happened to the employees’ assets.
In a statement on his Facebook page, the UPND leader said that he is ready to explain his role in the privatization exercise for the umpteenth time, in his capacity as a consultant during the process and assured Zambians that he never betrayed them in any way, and that had he done that, successive Governments would have thrown me in jail by now.
Below is the full statement
Ever since I stepped into the political arena, a lot of attempts by political competitors and some media houses have been made to malign, discredit and tarnish my name in an attempt to send me into some form of political oblivion, while I adopted the old adage that silence is golden.
Recently, the nation witnessed an age-old political debate that was instigated by a politician sponsored by Mr. Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front, and given unlimited media coverage on my role in privatisation, over a matter that has since been handed over to the courts for determination. This was a malicious campaign meant to pit me against the Zambian people.
I have realised that when dealing with characters who have no sense of shame and moral compass in life, silence is no longer golden. Consequently, I held a press conference in which I dispelled those allegations with documentation that I never sold any mine; I only advised the divestiture of a Hotel Mosi o Tunya and never bought any shares at the time of privatization; and the Kabulonga house I alleged to have bought as part of my privatisation involvement never belonged to Lima Bank, and that I bought it prior to privatization of Lima Bank.
This week however in Kasama and Mwansabombwe, Mr. Lungu continued to tell Zambians lies about my involvement in the privatization exercise, and called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry. I want to say I heartily welcome that move urgently, for it will also give Mr. Lungu a chance to explain his role in the privatisation exercise, and what happened to the assets and former employees of Zambia Cold Storage Board Limited.
Further, I ask that Mr. Lungu also sets up a Commission of Inquiry to the following matters because they are of national importance;
- The people of Zambia would like to know how Mr Lungu increased his wealth from about K2million in 2014 (according 2015 Presidential Elections declarations), to about K22million in 2016. His salary and allowances do not align with such a leap in his fortunes.
- The selling of KCM after the 2001 elections;
- Privatisation of Zamtel as well as the Compensation given to “Libya” later;
- The procurement of 42 reconditioned Fire Trucks for $42m;
- The Purchase of a Gulfstream G650 Presidential Jet;
- The cancellation of a supply of a Sukhoi Superjet despite Government making a down payment;
- Procurement of ambulances at the cost of $288,000 per unit;
- The $17m contract awarded to honeybee Pharmacy to supply expired drugs;
- The $1.2 billion Lusaka/Ndola dual carriage way;
- The Mukula cartel allegations;
- The successive FIC report findings;
- The allegations of terrorist financing in East Africa;
- The COVID-19 funds and materials donated or allocated to the Ministry of health and Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit; and,
- The cartel supplying very expensive fuel to Zambia even when the global price is reasonably low and how those businessmen are bankrolling PF campaigns and State House.
As HH, I am ready to explain my role in the privatisation exercise for the umpteenth time, in my capacity as a consultant during the process. I can assure my fellow citizens that I never betrayed them in any way. Had I done that; successive Governments would have thrown me in jail by now.
Mr. Lungu is under pressure and I can only sympathise with his wild accusations. I also sympathise with him as he finds himself in a hopeless situation where he has no solutions to the many problems facing this country which is in the throes of an economic meltdown. He can save face by stepping down, and will go down a more honourable route of one of the few Presidents to have resigned in Africa.