Wednesday, April 11, 2012
By Moses Kuwema
Wed 11 Apr. 2012, 13:30 CAT
PRESIDENT Michael Sata says the Sebastian Zulu-led commission of inquiry report on radar contracts for the three international airports is useless and wondered if the Minister of Justice was trying to protect Dora Siliya.
And Wynter Kabimba, the chairman of the commission of inquiry into the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and oil procurement, says the government lost about K2 trillion through corruption in the oil procurement process between 2007 and 2011.
Speaking when he received the report from Zulu who is chairman of the commission of inquiry into radar contracts at State House yesterday, President Sata said the report was complicated.
"This report is very useless…very complicated. We wasted our money. Can you Secretary to the Cabinet, Evans Chibiliti go and communicate with your committee in conjunction with them. Let us know what you are supposed to bring to cabinet. I don't know whether he is trying to protect Ms Dora Siliya, anyway well done," said President Sata as Zulu responded, "No!"
Earlier, Zulu recommended that the Ministry of Transport and Communications negotiated the cancellation of the contract.
Zulu said a team of experts comprising all the stakeholders to draw up specifications in order to identify the requirement for a new and modern air traffic management system, which would include the radar, should also be set up.
"We are also saying once the requirements have been identified and clearly established, the government should as a matter of urgency and priority, allocate funds for the acquisition and installation of a new and modern air traffic management system. We are also recommending that public officers who were responsible for loss of funds in trying to have an obsolete radar system, they should be made accountable because the government lost a lot of money. The Public Procurement Authority should be revamped so that we have professional personnel who know what they are doing," said Zulu.
And Kabimba said officers in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, the Zambia Public Procurement Authority and ERB were involved in corruption through oil procurement contracts.
Kabimba recommended that the government through the law enforcement agencies investigates individual officers and oil companies involved in oil procurement contract irregularities, malpractices and alleged practices of corruption during the period 2007 to 2011.
He said some of the companies involved in the corruption malpractice had further gone ahead to bid in the 2012 on-going oil procurement tender.
President Sata said the report on the ERB was very technical and asked Chibiliti to form a technical committee and prepare a cabinet memorandum.
Meanwhile, speaking after he swore in Anti-Corruption commissioners, an ambassador and a senior private secretary at State House, President Sata said there was need to strengthen the ACC Act so that officers do not wait for the public to report corrupt practices, but that they should have originating powers to investigate.
"I would like to appeal to the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, to look at the law because at the moment the ACC is moribund because they have got to wait for us to go and report to them. They have no originating powers of investigating," he said.
President Sata said there was so much corruption in the country and that all the ministries were full of corruption.
"As one commissioner here reported, those people who stole money from Zambia, they are the same people who are bidding for tenders to supply fuel again. So I wish the chairman could have a look at that one. Let us strengthen the ACC because the police, there is very little they can do. We have more qualified people in the ACC because if the ACC can…you have more officers just as the police but you are not in touch with the public. It was with the help of the public, the public mentioned to us when some MMD minister planted money and that money did not geminate, when they went to see if it is still rotten, they found it was still there. And another pastor from a church, Zambia Shall be Saved, he says he does not know the amount of money which has been stolen in his bedroom. How can a person not know how much money has been stolen in his bedroom?" asked President Sata in apparent reference to Pastor Nevers Mumba whose apartment was broken into and money allegedly stolen.
"The only way we can survive is to strengthen the ACC act where they should not only be waiting to be receiving reports but they should also have originating responsibilities."
Among the people that President Sata swore in included Ireen Lamba as deputy director general for the ACC, Pastor Godfridah Sumaili and Steven Moyo as ACC commissioners.
Others who were sworn are Frank Mutubila as Zambia's Ambassador to Italy and Ogeon Gondwe as senior private secretary at State House.