Friday, October 14, 2011

Sata exposes DEC gold scam

Sata exposes DEC gold scam
By Bright Mukwasa
Fri 14 Oct. 2011, 13:58 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has exposed a scam involving a Swiss businessman who secretly flew into the country and is linked to the purchase of the gold seized by the Drug Enforcement Commission. The Swiss man whom he named as Nicola Bogdan Buzaianu, flew into the country on a private jet three days ago and is alleged to have met former president Rupiah Banda.

Speaking at a press briefing at State House yesterday, President Sata expressed disappointed that the police were unable to detect the transaction involving the seized gold.

"Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) at one time had seized gold and this gold was quietly auctioned and the people who were connected in buying this gold were in Lusaka three days ago. And they came in Lusaka on 12th of October at 09:30 hours at KK International Airport," President Sata said.

"These people when they arrived, they arrived here in a private jet. They went to pay a visit on my predecessor and from there they were met by Mr Dickson Jere and also by Mr James Banda (former president Banda's son). They went to Mfuwe, what for I don't know. And they left Lusaka this morning yesterday. This is why I am saying I am not confident with Lusaka Division Police Commanding officer, I need somebody who will be more alert. Because these people are wanted by the DEC and for us to allow them to go..."

President Sata said he had since retired Lusaka Division Commanding Officer, Mhlakeni Zulu, for the same reason.

He said he was also shocked that the same Swiss man, Buzaianu, was appointed as Zambia's permanent representative to UNESCO.

"… surprisingly for unknown reason, like if Zambia has no human beings we have a Mr Nicola Bogdan Buzaianu...a Swiss who Zambia has made a permanent representative to UNESCO," President Sata said.

"We are having difficulties in fighting corruption in Lusaka. I complained to the Inspector General of Police. Unfortunately the Inspector General of Police is too slow, so the person who is standing in our way to fight corruption in Lusaka has been the divisional commander Mr Zulu. I have retired him in national interest and I have promoted Comrade Mary Tembo, at the moment she is Deputy Commissioner, to full commissioner of police to immediately take over as divisional commander for Lusaka division. In Lusaka division we need a gallant, energetic human being if we have to succeed in our fight against corruption," he said.

And President Sata said he had cancelled a contract by a Turkish Company, Guris Holdings engaged by the previous government to construct a new airport in Lusaka.

The Banda government had announced the awarding of the airport construction contract to the Turkish company under a Public Private Partnership.

He also revealed that the questionable Lexus vehicles bought by the previous regime were actually four although only two had been delivered.

"Then those vehicles which I told you two days ago, they were not only two they were four. They have only delivered two here. And I would like you to assist me. You DEC, Anti Corruption Commission ACC, where are the other two? Because the state paid for four vehicles, they have only delivered two. All of us please assist and there was no tender for those vehicles," he said.

"Guris Holding Company of Turkey are supposed to start building a new airport.

Building a new airport is a very, very important issue which Cabinet and advertising should be involved. I am therefore suspending or cancelling these contracts. I don't see any urgency of having a new airport now. We will go to tender if there's need for a new airport."

President Sata said the government was going to investigate whether any money had been paid to the company.

And President Sata has also revealed plans by the Banda administration to award a contract to build another State House within the State House grounds.

"…and surprisingly this place (State House) is more than adequate, this place where we are. But somebody single-handedly without advertising, decided there was going to be a new State House."

President Sata also directed the minister of home affairs to investigate if ‘some' NGOs had been adhering to the law.

He said his fight against corruption was not selective and was not a witchhunt.

Meanwhile, President Sata said he was not going to create a new cabinet position following immediate past gender minister in Banda's government Sara Sayifwanda's refusal to take up the position of gender deputy minister.

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