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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Corruption Watch (ZNOC)

An important report has been made available via wikileaks that is well worth the read. It has some startling revelations (HT: Yakima) :
This 108 page investigative report to the Zambian Assembly, formally titled, PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE: REPORT OF THE AUDITOR – GENERAL ON THE REVIEW OF OPERATIONS OF THE ZAMBIA NATIONAL OIL COMPANY LIMITED, and dated Oct 2005, implicates the late Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawsa, his associates, and other members of the goverment in:
  1. A direct theft on the Zambian Government treasury of K838.645 billion, the ZNOC factious debt that Miss Josephine Mapoma, Permanent Secretary in The Ministry of Energy and Water Development certified which debt the Zambian Government resolved to take over,
  2. US$ 36 million value of ZNOC crude oil in TAZAMA Pipelines has not been accounted for
  3. Very soon it will be four years since this scheme was executed and by which time US$ 240 million in form of ZNOC profits would have been siphoned out of Zambia through TST and Total Outre mer arrangements.
The report, while submitted to the Assembly (during the term of President Mwanawsa), has not previously been readily available to the public.


  1. such high level glaring irregularies really put the country some generations far behind. it seems the so-called-democracy we have emraced only benefits those with the capacity to pluck enough courage to dupe every one else in their criminal activities.

    The PAC and national assembly as a whole only appear on paper to perform a constitutional function, yet in practice all power lies with the executive.

    could it be the reason why ZNOC had to be sacrificed, because of the knowledge by those who could achieve this feat, that they had over lined their pockets with public funds?

  2. Freddie,

    That is indeed the problem!

    Power is concentrated in the Executive. The problem is that I dont see how the NCC can reduce the power of the Executive.

    Many of the proposals have reversed the Mungomba recommendations.

  3. I thank all those who have taken the time to read through this very long report and have drawn their own conclusions based on the (in some instances unsubstantiated) allegations therein. I want to side with those who brought this report forward, in that not only should further forensic investigation be done to identify the culprits and assess the true extent of any damage done to third parties, but also any current or future privatization exercises must be viewed through a lens which takes into account the alleged complicity between public and private sector actors, as well as the mechanisms allegedly employed to achieve this, as described by this witness to Parliament. Nothing in this report is to my knowledge also not included in the official records of the committees in question, however that does not make its contents "true". What is missing is the rest of the record, from all the principal actors, not just ZNOC or GRZ, but also the private corporations which are alleged to have profited from corruption.

    I want to commend the former First Lady for her comments to the Press on 8 August, where according to the Post she is quoted in part as follows:

    Maureen said as a country which respects the rule of law, there was need for the police to strengthen their role and protect every citizen.

    She said in a democratic country like Zambia, violence should not be encouraged.

    "We can only hope the police will arrest the situation and ensure that every profession in the country is protected," she said.

    Maureen also called on the government to concentrate on governing the country as opposed to responding to whatever the opposition said.

    "The job of the opposition is to oppose those in government, so the government should instead concentrate on governing and when you have governance rules, they help you govern," she said.

    And within the context of the allegations raised in evidence now coming to light, Mrs. Mwanawasa is quite right to reiterate her late husband's words, "What I hate is to portray that Levy was the one responsible for stealing... Levy is one president who took the bull by its horn and if anyone says he stole then prove it," she said. All too often in political circumstances, the oldest play in the book is "Blame the Dead Guy". There are plenty of people still working in the relevant Ministries who have their own questions to answer in this matter, and this is not about damaging the legacy of the late President.

    I thought long and hard about whether or not to call the ZE readership's attention to these particular documents, especially given how the timing happened near the anniversary of the funeral of the first Zambian President to die. The others are fortunately still alive to defend themselves, and concern over allegation that a former President would not be able to answer with the full force of his personal presence was indeed a concern for me. However, these aren't my documents, they belong to the Zambian government, which is democratic, therefore these are the property of Zambian citizens. It is not for me to ultimately judge what you Zambian citizens and voters choose to do with them, but I concluded that it would have been wrong for me to make that decision.

  4. I finally managed to peruse through that 'document' and the one thing that struck me is that it appears there is a deliberate attempt to mislead. You will note that it is not one single document but a series of 'cut and paste'actions. Further, there are some blatant 'errors' such as on the first page where clearly there is an attempt to change dates. The font for the date of the letter is different from the rest of the document, then somewhere on the same page the date is refered to to as 2 rd and not 2nd. For me, its clear someone is riding on the many allegations that are going round. The truth is all these are efforts to divert attention from the current bigger issues surrounding us.

    Lets not cheat ourselves that Levy was a saint, but on the other hand lets be clear about the half truths and lies going around. I agree with Yakima on the statement ' Blame the Dead guy'.

    Lets open our eyes and realise we do not exactly have a saviour taking us anywhere.....Odd numbers work for us......positive change will come from the next guy...2 and 4 are meant to bring us down.....


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