The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has disclosed that Commerce Minister Margret Mwanakatwe and her husband Mupanga Mwanakatwe of Zamtel have not paid the loan they obtained in 2009.
The couple owes a company called Aluworks Industries Limited a company, which they used to obtain the loan.
Meanwhile, Zambian Voice Director Chilufya Tayali has demanded that the Mwanakatwes should pay back the loan immediately or else the Anti corruption Commission should investigate how the money was used.
CEEC Public Relations and Communications manager Glenda Masebe said in a media statement that the company got a loan of K945,000 (K945 million old currency) in 2009 from CEEC. She said Aluworks Industries LTD qualified to get the loan.
Masebe said Aluworks Industries LTD is among the 144 applicants whose loans were approved by the commission between 2008 and 2012,adding that the loan is still active on the CEEC loan book. She could not say what the CEEC has done to recover the colossal sums of money that a lot of poor people could benefit from.
Masebe tried to dismiss allegations that the commission has been giving loans to senior government officials and other people who are well to do at the expense of the poor Zambians.
She claimed that CEEC has a transparent and professional loan approval system in place and that only eligible and bankable empowerment proposals are approved by the commission.
Masebe adeded that the commission has a policy in place to priotize empowerment funding to rural areas, women and youths. There is real reason for sidelining men.
Meanwhile the Zambian Voice has demanded that Commerce Minister Margret Mwanakatwe pays back the money she owes or give a reliable commitment plan on how she will liquidate the loan sir gar other people can access the money.
Executive Director Chilufya Tayali says failure to do will prompt his organisation to report the case to the Anti Corruption Commission so that an investigation can be launched on how she and her husband acquired the loan and where the money went.
He says they are highly doubtful as an organisation that the money was borrowed with good intentions.
Tayali said that his organization is disappointed with the response of Mrs Mwanakatwe over the loan they got from CEEC, by refusing to take responsibility of the debt in the guise of corporate veil that it is the company that borrowed and the company will pay.
He said that companies do not exist in a vacuum but are rather created by individuals who bear responsibility of liability depending n the circumstances.
Tayali further argued that contrary to Mwanakatwe’s suggestion that she was not aware of the loan because she was out of the country, she acted together with her husband to obtain the loan from CEEC using the company in which she has shareholding of 60% to her husband’s 40%.
Tayali added that Mrs Mwanakatwe took full responsibility of the loan in question when she took over the running of the said company as evidenced in a letter she wrote to CEEC on 23rd January 2015 to CEEC which she signed as Managing Director.