Minister of Energy, Peter Kapala has denied corruption allegations being leveled against him, following reports on social media that he will help Harvest Group of Companies, allegedly owned by a United Party for National Development (UPND) Cadre, and have done joint works with Civil Struts, a company owned by the Minister, to obtain a petroleum tender with the Government.
In a statement posted on his social media account, Mr. Kapala said categorically that he has no interest in companies that are vying for the Ministry of Energy’s Tender no MOE PSU/0B/G/03/B/2021 for supplying petroleum, whether directly or through proxies, and has no business interest in any of the companies bidding.
The Minister further clarified that reports that CivilStruts, one of the companies involved in the bid, is renting space in the Mount Meru offices are not true, but rather that CivilStruts is housed in one of the two office blocks he owns on Lukanga Road in Roma and has been in those premises since September 2017 and that the company has never rented office space from Mount Meru, who own their own office block along Zambezi Road in Roma and the two buildings are 1.1km apart.
“Further, an impression was being created that CivilStruts was engaged in works with Harvest Group in line with the petroleum tender at the Ministry of Energy.
“I wish to reveal to you all that the contract for CivilStruts to provide consulting services for Harvest Group’s Avondale Filling Station was signed before the nominations for the 2021 elections took place. Work started during the time the previous regime was in power. There has been no business agreed or done between the two following the UPND coming to power.
“As a minister, I play no role in the procurement processes. It is our intention to level the playing field and allow all potential locally-based Zambian companies a chance to take part in this business. The tender was floated transparently. Foreign companies were not allowed to bid. We are now at the evaluation stage.
“Bids will be assessed by competent technocrats and the awards will be based on merit and competence. Selection will be done transparently and objectively. Everyone’s interest is to ensure that those selected have the capacity to supply petroleum products without delay, sustainably and cheaply so that benefits accrue to the end users. It is hoped that this process will empower our people and ensure they grow their capacity and provide jobs to the other citizens.
“Even though I do not intend to respond to all malicious articles meant to tarnish my image or that of the New Dawn Government, I felt duty bound to set the record straight this time around.
“And as a minister, I will always exhibit the highest level of transparency, objectivity, and professionalism in discharging my duties. Where a conflict of interest will arise, I shall always declare it, ” concluded the statement.
Meanwhile, Leader of the opposition Brian Mundubile has said that Government is now giving contracts dubiously, his party shall not stop exposing them.
Mr. Mundubile exposed that the UPND government has now given oil contracts to friends and allies, stating that this is a serious corruption act.
In an interview, Mr. Mundubile said this kind of behavior will not be left unchecked.
The Mporokoso lawmaker said it is unfortunate that the UPND who are preaching the fight against corruption are the ones being involved.
He said “as the opposition Members of Parliament such deals are the ones we will be exposing so that Zambians can know’.
“There is now another scandal of the oil deal. The government is now giving oil contracts to friends dubiously,” Hon. Mundubile said.
“The song of fighting corruption is just rhetoric because they are the ones who are now doing it,” he said.
Mr. Mundubile also said that the fertilizer scandal will also be dealt with to the latter, adding that the opposition MPs will ensure that the corrupt deal come to conclusion so that Zambians know the truth.
He said people involved in corruption activities in the UPND government will never be left scot-free.