Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Probe team warns, cautions Dora

Probe team warns, cautions Dora
By Ernest Chanda
Wed 20 Feb. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE Government Joint Investigations Team on Monday warned and cautioned Dora Siliya in connection with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RP Capital Partners of Cayman Islands, which led to the privatisation of Zamtel.

According to team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa, Siliya, who is former communications and transport minister was cautioned for the offence of abuse of authority of office, by signing an MoU and an Addendum without authorisation.

She disclosed that as a result of such a transaction, Siliya committed the government to an expenditure of over K800 million (KR800 thousand), an act arbitrary and prejudicial to the interests of the government of the Republic of Zambia.

Kasumpa said that during the warn and caution process, Siliya opted to remain silent and did not respond to the allegation.

According to an MoU which Siliya, in 2008 signed with RP Capital Partners Limited to evaluate Zamtel's assets, ahead of its privatisation, the Zambian government was mandated to pay RP Capital Partners Limited a fee amounting to five per cent of the negotiated amount and would get US $2 million about K10.3 billion as transaction fees at the end of the transaction.

However, at the end of the transaction, RP Capital Partners Limited got about US $12.8 million (approximately K65 billion) from the Zambian government after the sale of Zamtel to Libya's Lap Green Network.

And despite legal advice from the Attorney General's Chambers against engaging RP Capital Partners Limited without following the procedures, Siliya, on behalf of the Zambian government, on December 22, 2008 signed the MoU with RP Capital.
According to the MoU, RP Capital Partners Limited had been contracted by the Zambian government to provide consultancy services to the government in connection with valuation of Zamtel for purposes of the potential sale of government shares in Zamtel, assistance in negotiations with prospective acquirers in conjunction with the government team and project management of the potential Zamtel sale process working with the Ministry of Communications and Transport and/or the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), as the case may be.

And on Saturday, June 5, 2010, then finance and national planning minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane announced that the government had agreed to sell 75 per cent shares in Zamtel to Libya's LAP Green Network for US$257 million (about K1.3 trillion).

And since RP Capital Partners Limited was entitled to five per cent of the negotiated amount, in this case US$257 million, it meant that the firm would be given about US$12.8 million.

Then president Rupiah Banda's son, Henry, was said to have introduced RP Capital Partners Limited to Siliya and the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

In early 2009, sources revealed to The Post that Henry was one of the contact persons for RP Capital Partners Limited and that he had attended some meetings at the ministry.

Henry has since refused to appear before investigative wings and is on a self-imposed exile in South Africa.

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