Thursday, May 30, 2024

Former Ministry of Agriculture PS and two others deny corruption charges involving 131 million Dollars

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Former Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Songowayo Zyambo and two others have denied corruption charges involving 131 million dollars on claims of unsupplied fertiliser.

Mr Zyambo is jointly charged with former Ministry of Agriculture Principal Agricultural Economist Grey Mwale and Principal Accountant Emmanuel Kabwe.

The three are facing one count of effecting payment from the public revenue for goods not supplied in full.

They appeared for plea before Chief Resident Magistrate Davies Chibwili.

It is alleged that Mr Zyambo, Mr Kabwe and Mr Mwale jointly and whilst acting together made payment to Neria’s Investments Limited from public revenue for goods not supplied in full.

The payment in question was allegedly made between January and August 2021.

Trial in the matter is expected to come up on January 30, 2023.

Brief facts in the matter are that, on 9th November, in a statement issued by the Anti-Corruption, Former Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Principle Agricultural Economist and Principal Accountant were arrested for corruption involving over 131 million United States Dollars, in a case of unsupplied fertilizer.

Songowayo Zyambo, aged 56, of Sub- Division A/Lot 2336M New Kasama Lusaka, Grey Mwale, aged 51, of Plot 43304, Chifwema Area in Chongwe, and Emmanuel Kabwe, aged 48, of Plot 13512, Off Kasama Road, Chalala were jointly charged with one count of fraudulently facilitating payment from the Public Revenue for goods not supplied in full contrary to Section 41 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 of the Laws of Zambia.

On dates unknown but between 1st January 2021 and 31st December, 2021 Mr Zyambo, jointly and acting together with Grey Mwale and Emmanuel Kabwe whilst serving at the Ministry of Agriculture and responsible for the management and administration of public funds, did make a payment from the public revenue, for goods not supplied in ful, when they signed a letter of confirmation to Zambia National Commercial Bank – ZANACO on the 8th of April 2021 stating that Neria Investment Limited had delivered 100% of D-Compound and Urea fertilizer according to the requirements of the contract number MOA/FISP/G/1/2020, when it had not done so.

Neria Investments Limited was contracted by the government of the Republic of Zambia to supply 75,380.70 metric tonnes of D-Compound and 59,619.30 metric tonnes of Urea at a contract price of US$131, 142,682.65.

In July, the Anti-Corruption Commission recorded a warn and caution statements from the four directors at Neria Investments Limited, Bokani Soko, of 146 Mukuba Complex, Chudleigh in Lusaka, Justin Mutaa Katanekwa of House number 11965, Chelstone, Mohamed Zuneid Ismail Yousuf and Nadeem Yousuf both of Makeni in Lusaka.

And in 2021, the four directors acting for and on behalf of Neria Investment, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, did obtain money in the of United States Dollars One Hundred and Thirty-One Million, One Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty-Two Sixty Five Cents (USD$131,142,682.65) having falsely represented that 75,380.70 metric tonnes of D-Compound and 596619.30 metric tonnes of Urea were supplied and delivered at the Ministry of Agriculture when in fact not.

The trio were arrested and later released on bond, awaiting court appearance.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The corruption fight is only against those that served under pf and from certain tribes. Whilst the upnd public office holders are implicated in the fertiliser scandals, no action or investigation has been commissioned. If you are t0nga and upnd supporter you can do as you please

  2. That is typical activities of PF and its members. When Zambians say PF were thieves beyond any reasonable doubt, others claim they are rebranding. Hope not rebranding to more sophisticated thieves.

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