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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Corruption Watch (Local Government)

Interesting development in the hearse corruption scandal currently under investigation. The ACC earlier this week arrested Top Motors Managing Director for allegedly attempting to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission officer with K50m million :

Anti-corruption commission spokesperson Timothy Moono said the arrest follows investigations the commission has been conducting in the manner the Government of the Republic of Zambia procured 100 hearses from Top Motors and 60 three-tonne trucks for the 'Keep Zambia Clean Campaign.' Liang was alleged to have corruptly offered K50 million and gave K15 million cash gratification to an ACC officer as inducement or reward for the officer to destroy evidence and quicken investigations which the commission was conducting in the procurement of the hearses and trucks.

10 comments:

  1. Cho,

    Mr Bantubonse and his friends have to realise its in their long term interests to push for transparency - deals made under the table are not sustainable. The approach should be consultative and transparent.

    Bantubonse and company look at the mine's lifespan, and then they look at not paying taxes. And their 'profit optimisation' model will always be - we're not going to pay any taxes.

    It cannot be just the goverment that is corrupt for taking bribes to sell out the interest of the Zambian people and economy. The mines are actively involved in this corruption process. They pay bribes to the parties, to MPs, just to get them on board and prevent the country from levying taxes.

    There has to be an international body that can step in and wonder - why are the mines in Zambia not paying taxes? The WTO? Even the IMF and World Bank? I'm sure they don't want to be publicly known for encouraging corrupt practices, even though that is exactly what they are doing.

    Maybe someone can sue the IMF for the results of their disastrous policies? They have cost the Zambian economy over $10 billion in lost taxable revenues. Remember also that they advised Edith Nawakwi that "copper prices would not rise in her lifetime", just before the biggest boom in copper prices in a generation. Certainly if that is not incredibly incompetent, it is extremely corrupt?

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  2. Last year, we touched on the issue when Prof. Chirwa talked of sueing the IMF.

    Legal action against the IMF / World Bank?
    Thursday, 17 April 2008

    It appears Prof Chirwa (and his 'Harvard' and 'LSE' friends) are considering suing the World Bank / IMF over the privatisation of the mines (if elected?):

    Indeed, in the mid-term, Zambia should take the World Bank to international courts of law and seek compensation for lost revenue based on misappropriated advice that tightly tied Zambia’s negotiating hands and greatly influenced the outcome of the contracts negotiations. A good example is the mischief portrayed by the World Bank when they assured Zambia that some mines that were sold had finite life spans of up to 7 years........We will know when we go to court. Indeed I have been assured by my very good friends at the London School of Economics and Harvard University in USA that the World Bank and its advisers plus other players have a big case to answer. If taken to court we will win and we will be compensated for lost revenue. This will not be easy but as it stands it is 90 per cent achievable. With little more effort, we will do it.



    Hundreds of lawyers to sue IMF
    The Jakarta Post [online]
    January 20, 2003

    JAKARTA (JP): Hundreds of lawyers, grouped in the Team of Lawyers Who Care about the People's Hardship, will sue the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), team coordinator Hotman Paris Hutapea said here on Monday.

    "We will sue the IMF at the Central Jakarta District Court as the international agency has failed to help revive Indonesia's economic sector from the prolonged crisis," Hotman was quoted as saying by Antara.


    The IMF's Asian Legacy
    By Jacques-chai Chomthongdi
    Focus on Trade
    September 2000

    INTRODUCTION

    In October 1999, a South Korean trade union was the first organisation ever to attempt to sue the IMF for damages in response to the mass lay-offs caused by IMF policies.


    The Critique of Neoliberalism in Art
    The Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism
    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Bamako (2006, Abderrahmane Sissako Mali): In this highly regarded film, Sissako imagines what it would look like for Africa to sue the IMF and the World Bank. He transforms the courtyard of a housing complex into a legal court, juxtaposing the court proceedings with the daily life of the courtyard: women dyeing fabrics, people bathing, children playing, the celebration of a marriage, and the occurrence of death. He creates “the common” Michael Hardt has advocated in his call for Africa to protest the policies that have been imposed on various countries.

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  3. MrK

    "It cannot be just the goverment that is corrupt for taking bribes to sell out the interest of the Zambian people and economy. The mines are actively involved in this corruption process. They pay bribes to the parties, to MPs, just to get them on board and prevent the country from levying taxes."

    I'm happy to see that we are not alone to shout against the GRZ and the corruption who increased a lot these last two year.. between GRZ, the parliament and the foreign mining groups.

    The more important is that in the zambian press we never see news about this problem, the zambian press never talk about it !
    they prefer take money in their pocket and let people without resource

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  4. MrK,

    It may well be that there is a case for taking legal action against the IMF/World Bank. But, how can you (Zambia) possibly do that when you've failed to reclaim stolen national resources from one individual, namely FTJ??

    As we're reading on this blog, there're so many cases of corrupt practices, from Local Governments through the Justice Department, all the way up to the top of GRZ! Zambians must learn to deal with their own issues first.

    In my view taking on the IMF will not be distracting from the everyday issues right under our noses, such as those I mentioned above, but also extremely costly.

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  5. Correction: Last sentence in last post should have read:

    "In my view taking on the IMF will only be distracting from the everyday issues right under our noses, such as those I mentioned above, but also extremely costly."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Zedian,

    It may well be that there is a case for taking legal action against the IMF/World Bank. But, how can you (Zambia) possibly do that when you've failed to reclaim stolen national resources from one individual, namely FTJ??

    Fortunately the one doesn't exclude the other.

    As we're reading on this blog, there're so many cases of corrupt practices, from Local Governments through the Justice Department, all the way up to the top of GRZ! Zambians must learn to deal with their own issues first.

    It doesn't work that way. Just because someone breaks the law over here, doesn't mean everyone else is exempt too. Otherwise, we would never start fighting corruption at all.

    In my view taking on the IMF will not be distracting from the everyday issues right under our noses, such as those I mentioned above, but also extremely costly.

    And extremely profitable if successful. Zambia has lost out on over $10 billion in taxable profits since the year 2004 (most likely a lot more).

    Now if we can recoup those, it is more than worth the effort. Consider that the total annual government budget is slightly under $2 billion a year ('donor aid' included). The national debt after HIPC is also about $2 billion.

    And if in the process we uncover corruption by Zambian government individuals (like say the Finance Ministers), well that is just a bonus.

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  7. MrK,

    I very mush appreciate that one does not preclude the other in these cases. But, my point is this: Sell the idea of suing the IMF to GRZ and once people in GRZ realise their are real prospects, they'll simply drop what they're doing and put all energy into that lawsuit. Whenever there are prospects of external money coming into Zambia, be it aid or whatever, all of a sudden GRZ finds the energy to mobilise every resource they can find to get their hands on that money. We all know this, don't we?

    You may recall the Donegal vs Zambia case in the London courts, and who and what resources were mobilised to rally for Zambia. You may also recall that there were very few people who stopped to ask how Donegal came to acquire that debt in the first place, and about the Zambian officials who assisted them and what's happened to those officials.

    We all know what a complete shambles the "war on corruption" has turned out to be. And it's not because there is no corruption at all. It's because Zambians cannot hold their own government to account.

    Zambia needs to get its act together and quit blaming foreign entities for its problems. Yes, some of these foreign entities have contributed to problems down there, but whatever is going on there is "made in Zambia, by Zambians!"

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  8. Zedian,

    " Zambia needs to get its act together and quit blaming foreign entities for its problems. Yes, some of these foreign entities have contributed to problems down there, but whatever is going on there is "made in Zambia, by Zambians!" "

    I disagree. When there is a theft, usually there is a thief and a fence. They are both criminals.

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  9. And need I add, the one who benefited most should take the most blame.

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  10. MrK,

    Ok, let's assume Zambia successfully sues the IMF and gets billions back. Then what? You allow Zambians to steal it again?

    We need to plug the holes first.

    What happened during the HIPC stuff is a good case in point. Again, GRZ left no stone unturned in ensuring that HIPC was attained. Debt was written off and everyone was happy. But soon afterwards we're talking of billions in debt again! How many people (apart from a few on the Zambian Economist blog) are taking GRZ to task about the mounting debt?

    So, this is my point: it's easy for Zambia to look outside either to solicit for funds or blame someone out there for it's problems. Meanwhile, we're failing to deal effectively with in-house problems. We're failing to raise money from our own natural resources by way of sufficient taxation on the mining companies as you've rightly point out all along, because of our own corrupt officials.

    As things are, we could pour more and more money into Zambia and it'll just disappear into a black hole, without a trace. It's that which we need to fix first.

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