Wednesday, April 17, 2024

No corruption in Gulfstream purchase, Elbit tells ACC

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One of Israel’s top arms companies, Elbit Systems has refuted reports of corruption and bribery in the procurement of Gulfstream G650 Presidential Jet.

Last month, the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested some former officials in the PF administration including ex Defence Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale on suspicion of corruption in deals worth over $500 million with Israeli defence contractor, Elbit in relation to the procurement of the Gulfstream G650 Presidential Jet.

The ACC’s statement stressed that as the chairman of the ministry’s procurement committee, Mr. Mwale failed to comply with proper procedure and was charged with fraud and other violations regarding three contracts with Elbit Systems “for goods and services not supplied in full”.

According to the statement, three other former senior Defence Ministry officials – including the former chief accountant – were also arrested, before all four of the detained were released on bail and are soon to be brought before a judge.

Purchased in 2019 by President Edgar Lungu’s administration, the presidential jet was outfitted with an anti-missile defence system known as Elbit J-Music, which caused it to be bought at an extortionate amount of money for the cash-strapped country and became a huge political scandal.

According to Defence Minister, Ambrose Lufuma, the Gulfstream “was purchased at an exorbitant price of $194.9 million inclusive of the accessories”, stating that the Zambian government is attempting to sell the plane and replace it with a cheaper one.

Mr. Lufuma also said that the plane and its accessories were seemingly purchased by the former president at a higher price than they should have been, with the plane itself having cost $20 million more than its actual price, and the J-Music defence system bought at $50 million – $45 million more than its price of $5 million.

Those contracts consist of a $400 million deal to modernise the Zambian armed forces, a $124 million contract between Elbit and a local defence company, and another contract with Elbit worth $50 million.

The $400 million to modernise Zambia’s armed forces, which really went to pay for the plane, was provided by the Israel Discount Bank in the form of a loan.

That, as well as a spate of other defence deals with Israeli companies, came after former president Lungu’s 2017 visit to Israel in which he met with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In response to the Zambian government and the ACC’s request for information, Elbit claimed that it “does not correspond to reality, to say the least.

”Elbit has a compliance and enforcement system on the subject, which meets the highest criteria, and will not lend its hand to corruption and bribery, not even indirectly.”

It added: “To the best of our knowledge, the integrity of the interaction was examined by the Zambian authorities and no fault was found in the conduct of Elbit and no blame was placed on Elbit.”

It said, “With the publication of the news about allegedly improper procedures in Zambia, we launched a comprehensive investigation while monitoring the foreign publications and the parties involved in the publication.”

29 COMMENTS

  1. Of course ELBIT are happy to sell anything……..they are a business.

    If a blind and deaf person walks into a shop with a guide , and the guide starts buying all expensive goods on the blind and deaf persons account…………

    Ofcourse the shop owner will even encourage more purchasing, even unnecessary ones…………as in this case.

    Only the Zambians who are now saddled with this unnecessary debt for generations, will pay the price…….

    Anti Missile system ??…..completely unnecessary, should have used the money to build schools for street kids.

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    • You think street kids are on the street because there are no schools. The party should fire you for being a dull propaganda machine

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    • @Nostradamus. HH. He was overtaking the presidential motorcade! Remember how he was crying for an uprising from Zambians after losing? Next step was to buy himself an aircraft to fire missiles at Dozy Lungu. LOL

    • De javu

      An old man like you should not be smoking weed………

      You think stret kids can be put into regular schools ???

      Those are traumatised kids and need specialist education

      That is why PF and their supporters are so thick…………very low thinking capacity……….

  2. It’s on this forum that I said that there’s no foreign entity that would cooperate with ACC in its investigations on matters of defense & security. What HH must do is to sit with ECL and ask him how and why he made certain decisions otherwise he won’t get anywhere in his quest to undress his predecessor. Unfortunately, I doubt whether such a meeting will materialize considering his toxic paranoia. He’d think Edgar will poison him even by just sitting close to him, possibly through the perfume. He’s the most coward President we have ever had who can’t even inspect a guard of honour without that shadowy character following closely. It seems he believes more in that person than God

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    • Kekekekekeke! He cant shift to State House because he suspects Lungu left ilomba there. We are now keeping state secrets outside State House in a private home!

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  3. Wasn’t Lungu the one giving the orders? Do these underlings have any choice but comply?
    Lungu never had a sense of public money and his personal “comfort”

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  4. He who alleges proves. The ACC has a duty to adduce evidence in court to prove what they have been telling us.

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  5. At the end of all this ACC and HH will just end up with no conviction having spend so much money chasing their own fart. Buying or Selling an Aircraft is not the same as selling a cow or ZCCM property.

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  6. Ask yourselves why these people are so fixated with the gulf stream jet. It’s GRZ property they want for themselves. Why is he not selling the older Jet “The challenger” instead of making noises on a property which is rightfully own by the state and managed by the military. He built himself a house to compete with the state because he wanted to be seen as a parallel government. It’s not the same now because he has no one to blame but himself.

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  7. One would have thought that ACC would have asked for this information from Elbit systems as well as the financing bank so that they have concrete evidence before effecting those arrests.
    So you arrest first and then start looking for evidence?
    Anyway, we look forward to the trial.

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  8. They are beneficiaries of the sale, so they are the wrong people to make any comment. It’s called conflict of interests.

    The question we are asking is whether it was the best time to purchase such an item given there was already another aeroplane performing the same function.

    The other concern is whether the price was deliberately inflated for those in the loop to get kick backs.

    These unanswered questions point unswervingly to corruption.

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  9. I have never seen such level of incompetence in UPND and its leadership. Did they expect the seller to tell them that corruption was involved in the sell of the jet. You mean there are no laws against corruption in Israel? What level of thinking is this? Appalling!!!

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  10. The same eibit is one of the beneficiaries of thus deal. Why would they implicate the people who corrupted them? Obviously not because then they would also be guilty so there is no way they can say there was corruption involved. Just jail them.

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  11. Why did Lungu admin buy it from Elbit Systems of Israel yet the plane maker is Gulfstream Aerospace of USA ? I smell corruption,tenderprenuership and kickbacks from middlemen for all those inflated costs.

  12. I said it Gilbert phiri is a UPND sympasiser who will not look at the law but just put there to fix opponent’s wait and see what he will do as DPP especially the Milingo immunity case.HH has appointed people he can control but it is backfiring in his face .we are living in a different era where you can’t sweep anything under the carpet.fix the economy as promised not your enemies.Zambians want the real change you promised.Time is running out

  13. $400 million corruption spent on a jet with anti missile system that no one needs and…………

    the rest of the money spent on spy software and equipment aimed at opposition……….

  14. Some of the $400 million went to monitoring kit aimed including the famed phegesus spy software mainly at opposition……….

    In the same vain that kapoyongo spent millions on military vehicles armed with marchine guns to be used for riot control………..

  15. Al Jazeera would have done a better job than your ACC to be honest. Remember how they brought prima facie evidence against some overzealous Namibian officials?

  16. But this plane was bought brand new in American -why purchase it via an Isreali stoogie? Also i think the reporters here jst spiced the heading cos there is absolutely no way that ACC or DEC walk straight up to these Isrealis for information ., cos remember this is a doggy company that is implicated in the same dirt. So there is absolutely no way that even them can respond to such. So , here, i think the news reporter used a fake heading and besides in the body of the news there is no compelling news there, its just a recap of what happended and what we already know,

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