Thursday, November 17, 2011

(LUSAKATIMES) Sale of Zamtel was fraudulent- Sebastian Zulu

Sale of Zamtel was fraudulent- Sebastian Zulu
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, November 17, 2011, 1:47 pm

President Michael Sata says cabinet will decide whether to reverse the sale of Zamtel to Libya’s Lap Green following the Commission of Inquiry’s report which has revealed that the transaction was fraudulent.

Minister of Justice Sebastian Zulu, who headed the Commission, this morning presented the report to the President and during the presentation stated that findings of his investigations revealed irregularities in the transaction.

Zulu said the technical committee of the commission has established that the sale of Zamtel by the Zambia Development Agency was hasty and that Lap Green failed to satisfy at least three of the procurement requirements and that it was shocking that they were awarded the bid.

He also reported that RP Capital, the firm that was engaged to evaluate the assets of Zamtel, was illegally appointed to do the work and that it irregularly undervalued the assets of the country’s biggest telecommunication company.

“We have established that ZDA hastily engaged RP Capital and they did this under duress. The firm then went on and carried out an incompetent and misleading valuation,”

Zulu reported. “They claimed that Zamtel was valued at US$38 million when it had a book value of US$81 million. The (MMD) government endorsed the sale of Zamtel at a cabinet meeting held on 23, July, 2009 against an incompetent valuation.”

He also disclosed that negotiations for the sale were not done independently by ZDA and that the government directed ZESCO to authorize the use of its optic fiber network by Lap Green.

“The managing director of ZESCO was even threatened with dismissal if he refused to sign for the use of the optic fiber,” Zulu said.

In response, President Sata told Zulu to write a cabinet memo and to make a formal report to cabinet.

“Cabinet will decide whether to reverse the sale or not,” President Sata said.

He also directed Zulu’s Commission of Inquiry to extend its investigation to the National Airport’s radar system, which was procured irregularly.

The President also announced that the government was “hunting for money hidden in the neighborhood” by the previous government.

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