Mwakalombe and his PS Nundwe fight over Zambezi Portland, Stanbic bribes
Copperbelt Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe and his Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe are reported to have been fighting over bribes by Zambezi Portland Cement, Stanbic and monies donated by other business entities to the Copperbelt Investment Expo held from June 24 to June 29, 2019.
On May 29, 2019 Stanbic donated K200,000 to Mwakalombe’s office but this money is said to have grown legs under Mwakalombe’s watch. This appears to have infuriated Nundwe. But knowing Stanbic, they must have obtained favours in exchange.
In May this year, a source at the Provincial Office in Ndola tells the Watchdog that Zambezi Portland Cement Director Antonio Ventriglia on May 30, 2019 gave Mwakalombe US$45,000 cash at Protea Hotel in Ndola meant for the Coppetbelt Expo which he never declared to the organising committee of the Expo.
Information filtering through states that Antonio Ventriglia had told the Minister that he did not want the donation to be publicised amidst long running court battles with Finsbury Investments over share ownership in the courts.
The Watchdog has repeatedly reported how thousands of US$ were being externalised by Directors at Zambezi Portland Cement to a named Italian bank.
When Nundwe realised Mwakalombe had not made known the money from Zambezi Portland through the Ventriglias family, Nundwe got incensed accusing the Minister of getting money from business houses under the guise of the CB Expo.
When Nundwe sought clarification from Mwakalombe, the Minister described the US$45,000 as a friendly handshake from a friend of the system and the PF.
“From the tine the Ventriglias started fighting Finsbury Investments over shares in court, these Italian crooks have been trying to be as close to government officials and the biggest beneficiary was Bowman Lusambo when he was Provincial Minister. We don’t even know how the K200,000 from Stanbic was used and the US$45,000 from Zambezi Portland was even used. Nundwe accuses his boss of chewing the monies. There are other monies that come from the Ventriglias to the Minister every Friday as weekend entertainment,” a highly placed source said recently.
“What we know is that the Ventriglias are looting Zambezi Portland dry.”
The Watchdog understands that Mwakalombe has now become a permanent feature at Protea Hotel where he meets all manner of crooks and almost surpassing Lusambo’s record.