More details have emerged on the controversial Kenneth Kaunda international Airport scam where government officials in cohort with the Chinese constructors have stolen the US25 million dollars released by government for the upgrade of the Airport.
A state advocate in the Ministry of Justice has disclosed that the Chinese constructor, China Jiangxi, through their local representative and tender-corruption expert Joseph Mwewa, have unilaterally changed the earlier contract which was signed under Micheal Sata.
The Attorney General Mumba Malila then approved the US385 million dollar contract between the government and the Chinese but another contract has surfaced which was never approved by the AG chambers.
And President Edgar Lungu has been informed about this grand corruption involving his Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Chikwanda’s son Bwembya Chikwanda and Joseph Mwewa himself.
“They have reduced the cost of airport to 360 million dollars in the new contract. This is to avoid the 25 million dollars released by government from being captured during the audit,” a state advocate said.
The second contract was also not approved by the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) but was facilitated by Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda who is working through his proxy Joseph Mwewa, an expert in siphoning out funds from government tenders.
“The 25 million dollars which you exposed in your story is true. The funds have disappeared and now a new contract has been drawn up showing the project cost at 360 million dollars,” the source said.
The new changes to the contract were agreed between Mr. Chikwanda and a Chinese national called Hu, who is working with Joseph Mwewa to siphon out funds to various accounts but mainly in HONGKONG.
Watchdog can reveal that there is a paper trail of funds from China Jiangxi accounts to ARZ account of Joseph Mwewa who later made some deposits into Robinson Misitala account. Misitala is managing director of the National Airports Corporation, which is a client for the new airport.
“That’s why you have seen Misitala has lately been justifying the two years delay to begin work at the airport. He has been oiled by Joseph Mwewa and there is paper trail to that effect. They were careless in this dealing,” another source said.
Other funds were move to an account of Bwembya, the son of Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda who has been travelling with Joseph Mwewa, Hu and other Chinese to China to finalise the deal.
“The delay to start works has been caused by the demand by China Exim bank who wants to know where the 25 million dollars counterpart funding from government has gone. They also want to know the change of contracts after tender had been approved,” the source said.
The proper way would have been the 25 million dollars released to China Exim bank based on the earlier contract of 385 million dollars, which means Zambia had contributed to the loan as per requirement in such huge borrowing.
“Unfortunately the funds ended up in pockets of individuals. Now they want to justify saying they used the funds to buy Specialised equipment, how?” The source said.
Joseph Mwewa is an expert in corruption of government tenders and made his fortune when he siphoned out lots of funds from fake road projects with Rupiah Banda and eventually move on working with the PF government.