Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kavindele takes ministers to task over RP Capital, Zamtel deal

COMMENT - " Dr Musokotwane said it was in the country’s history that valuation reports from all privatised company were never released. ". Why doesn't dr. Musokotwane just go and check out Fred M'membe's cell? Because that is where he is going. This is blatant corruption and complete intransparncy. Right from the use of 'RP Capital Partners' (a Dan Gertler company), to refusing to release the reports on ZAMTEL.

Kavindele takes ministers to task over RP Capital, Zamtel deal
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

ENOCH Kavindele has challenged education minister Dora Siliya, one of the architects of Zamtel privatisation, to disclose why she had to fly directly from Petauke to Johannesburg last week without passing through Lusaka International Airport.

And Kavindele, a former vice-president, has accused finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane of not being truthful by insisting that the government will never release RP Capital report on Zamtel because valuation reports for privatised companies are never released.

Following the government’s controversial decision to sell 75 per cent Zamtel shares to Libya’s LAP Green Networks at US $257 million, there has been widespread condemnation from key opposition political parties and civil society organisation who contend that the fixed-line phone company had been sold “for a song.”

Most stakeholders have continued to mount pressure on the government to release the valuation report for Zamtel which was undertaken by RP Capital who were paid US $12.5 million (about K65 billion) for the valuation works and also being imposed on Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) as transactional advisors for Zamtel.

In an interview yesterday, Kavindele stressed that with strengthened international anti-money laundering laws, soon, those celebrating their kickbacks from the Zamtel would be known.

Kavindele challenged Siliya to tell the nation why she abrogated the country’s aviation laws by expressly flying to Johannesburg from a ‘developmental meeting’ in her constituency without passing through the international airport.

“The days of those in government getting away with issues like this are long gone. The Zambian people are now alert,” Kavindele said.

“They Zambian people just want to avoid a situation now where those entrusted with national resources are benefiting as individuals whereas the rest of the population continues to wallow in poverty. The people are alert such that even the aircraft which went to pick Dora from Petauke to take her to Johannesburg, within hours of her boarding that aircraft, the Zambian people knew and were informed ‘that the people that are involved in these things are now for this and that…from Petauke. An aircraft went to pick her and she was in such a hurry that she abrogated rules of the country which demands that anyone exiting the country has to do so through the international airport. They should know that the whole country is upset that the national assets are being given away like this.”

Kavindele said currently it was not possible to hide money obtained corruptly as commissions.

“It is now not possible to hide money received from kickbacks,” said Kavindele.

“President Theodore Nguema Mbasogo, …all the houses they bought, the money in the bank have been frozen. Same for Sani Abacha’s sons...the money which was in Switzerland has been taken away from them and returned to the people of Nigeria. So, there is no hiding this type of money. Soon or later, these things being sold at give away prices for individuals to benefit will be known.”

And Kavindele said there was need for Dr Musokotwane to be honesty about the Zamtel deal.

This week, Dr Musokotwane said it was in the country’s history that valuation reports from all privatised company were never released.

But Kavindele said status reports for all privatised companies which included valuation reports and terms of payments were in public domain deposited in the country’s privatisation history.

On Dr Musokotwane’s statement that Zamtel was fairly priced, Kavindele regretted that Dr Musokotwane had taken to fighting battles started by others.

“We demand more from Mr Musokotwane. He cannot end by issuing a general statement like that,” Kavindele said.

“I was Minister of Commerce and each time a company was privatised a status report was done to give the status of the privatised company stating who had bought which company and at what price. All was published including valuations and prices at which those companies were sold. So what Musokotwane is saying is not true.”

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