Lungu partners with Dos Santos’ corrupt daughter to operate 4th mobile

Lungu partners with  Dos Santos’ corrupt daughter to operate 4th mobile

Zambia has awarded a license to start a fourth mobile-network operator to a company part-owned by Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president who is being probed for huge corruption.

Zambian dictator Edgar Lungu has partnered with Isabela to run the fourth mobile operator after being exposed by the Watchdog that he had wanted to partner with King Mswati of Swaziland.

Unitel International Holdings BV, in which Dos Santos owns a 25 percent stake, pledged to invest more than $350 million through a local unit owned by dictator Edgar Lungu.

Unitel will operate in Zambia under a new outfit registered as UZI Zambia Limited, with Lungu’s proxies as shareholders.

Isabel dos Santos; 45 years old, is currently Africa’s richest woman and the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the country from 1979 to 2017.

The company oversees operations of Angolan mobile carrier Unitel S.A., and other African mobile carriers operating under the Unitel brand.

But how can a country like Zambia give a licence to a person facing corruption investigations in her own country? Is it because Lungu is wedded to corruption so much that anything birthed in corruption naturally attracts him.

 

Here is what is happening to Isabela, the new investor in Zambia.

Angolan prosecutors opened an investigation on Friday into possible corruption at the country’s state oil giant when it was run by former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter Isabel.

Investigators will probe “irregular financial transfers” reported by Sonangol’s new management, prosecutors said in a statement.

Sonangol’s new chief executive Carlos Saturnino angrily criticised the financial management of his predecessor Isabel during a results briefing on Wednesday.

“We started in our roles on November 16, 2017, and tonight we note that the former finance director ordered the transfer of $38m to a company in Dubai,” he said.

The transfer was executed by Banco BIC, a bank at which Isabel was a director.

Isabel was appointed to run Sonangol in June 2016. She was removed from the job in November last year by Angola’s new president Joao Lourenco who has reversed several of his predecessor’s appointments.

Sonangol announced last December that it had opened an internal inquiry after discovering suspicious financial transfers with a value of tens of millions of dollars.

 

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