China Jiangxi International, the Chinese company that together with Joseph Mwewa, Mulenga Sata, and Bwembya Chikwanda stole US25 million dollars meant for the modernisation of Lusaka International Airport is back in business. After bribing State House, China Jiangxi International has just been awarded a road construction contract on the Copperbelt. The facilitator of the current wave of corruption is a local radio pro-PF radio station.
But that is a story for Wednesday. Today we shall just tell you how China Jiangxi International Joseph Mwewa, Mulenga Sata, Bwembya Chikwanda and others stole US25 million dollars from Zambian tax payers money.
Readers may recall that last week we published A GANG OF CRIMINALS HOLDING president EDGAR LUNGU HOSTAGE THROUGH CORRUPTION .
For China Jiangxi International, we briefly reported thus:
Jianxi– Total Known deals in Zambia so far = US$2.7billion
CHINA Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation Limited Bankrolled PF election campaigns
• The wide range of project contracting of Jiangxi involves road and bridge, building, airport construction, water conservancy and hydroelectric, farmland rehabilitation, farmland irrigation, water supply and dewatering, borehole drilling, geological exploration and municipal and country infrastructure construction.
The Most famous contract is to construct the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA). The total cost of Airport construction was US $360 million loan from Exim Bank of China. The Zambian government was asked to contribute only US$ 25 million as counterpart funding. This money was released by former finance minister Alexander Chikwanda in 2014. The money was looted by Joseph Mwewa, Bwembya Chikwanda and Mulenga Sata through their company MS Aluminium which was supposed to supply all aluminium and glass products to the KKIA project.
The following are the greater details and background of this grand corruption involving CHINA Jiangxi International, Joseph Mwewa, Mulenga Sata, and Bwembya Chikwanda as covered by the Watchdog from 2013.
During late Michael Sata’s regime, the government awarded a contract for the upgrade of the airport to China Jiangxi who were supposed to work with five Zambian firms. But as already noted, the money was looted, leading to complete stagnation of works on Zambia’s biggest International Airport.
The five local companies that were in the project consortium tried to sue the same Chinese company, together with Mulenga Sata, Joesph Mwewa, and Bwembya, over payments for their money but the matter died a natural death.
After stealing the the US25 million, CHINA Jiangxi International Joseph Mwewa, Mulenga Sata, and Bwembya Chikwanda embarked on more fraudulent activities to cover.
They quietly changed and reduced the Airport design in size and quality of building materials without tender authority.
An official from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) told the Watchdog that time that they were shocked to discover the size of the designs of the airport which were approved by ZPPA during tender had been drastically changed and reduced although the government iwass paying same amounts with US25 million already having been released and pocketed among themselves.
“This is the worst scandal of the century. The new designs have been reduced, meaning government is paying the same amounts for work which has been reduced by the contractor,” a senior ZPPA official disclosed.
He said the initial designs and plans for the upgrade of the airport cost 385 million dollars but the new designs have been reduced but for the same amounts.
He said ZPPA was also shocked that a new contract had emerged for 360 million dollars when government already released the US25 million dollars which had been looted by Mwewa and finance minister Alexander Chikwanda and his son Bwembya.
“For example, the plans which ZPPA approved included the upgrade of ZASTI college into a modern university but the new designs had removed that saying they will use money to do roads,” the source said.
“In tender terms, the change should have triggered the cancellation of the contract but it’s appears the Minister of Finance (Chikwanda at the time) has ordered for the continuation of the tender,” the source said.
The ZPPA official disclosed that the new designs have been done by Chinese architects who are not even registered to practice in Zambia while the Zambian firms that did the earlier drawings have been side-lined by Joseph Mwewa.
“The law clearly required that any designs and architect must be licensed to practice in Zambia before his designs can be accepted. In case of poor designs and possible collapse of the buildings, who are going to follow when the Chinese could have left the country,” the source said.
The ministry of works under the building department have reportedly raised the concern over the change of designs and have asked Joseph Mwewa to explain how he is changing designs without the knowledge of the ZPPA.
“From the assessment, the change of drawings will now cost the airport at around 200 million dollars. This means that the 125 million dollars will remain unaccounted for,” the official from works and supply said.
Chikwanda, his son Bwembya, and Joeseph Mwewa change Airport contract
20 April 2015
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.
Chikwanda provides K498.4 m in budget for his son and partners to steal
(10 October 2015)
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has allocated K498.4 million in the budget to be plundered by his son Bwembya and his relative Joseph Mwewa of Alsphalt Roads and Mulenga Sata the State House Deputy Minister. Chikwanda has allocated the money on the pretext that it is for the development of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
The fact is that KK International Airport upgrade has been used as a conduit for Chikwanda and his cronies to plunder money. Zambia has already obtained a loan of US$ 360 million from the EXIM Bank of China for the said project that has been awarded to China Jianxhi a company in which Mulenga Sata works as Government Relations Manager despite him being a Deputy Minister at State House. The Zambian government was only asked to contribute US$ 25 million as counterpart funding money that was released by Chikwanda last year. The money was shared by Mwewa, Bwembya and Mulenga through China Jianxi. Local companies that were contracted by Mwewa for a joint bid including an accounting firm AMG Global even complained of not being paid and the information is in public domain.
In clause 118 of his budget address, Chikwanda says ” Mr. Speaker, K498.4 million has been allocated for the upgrading of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and the establishment of a national airline”. The question is why pay for the upgrading of KK international airport when we already obtained a loan and counterpart funding released?
For those who may not know, Bwembya Chikwanda’s son who used to work for Lafarge and the wife Chimango who works as Director HR at ZANACO is a shareholder in a company called MS Alumunium. The other shareholder is Joseph Mwewa. MS is supposed to supply all aluminium and glass products to the project despite Alsphalt Roads another company by Mwewa also being a joint contractor. M stands for Mwewa while S stands for Simpasa who died about four years ago. Bwembya has bought off Simpasa’s shares. It is important that parliament does not allow this allocation to go through. This is certainly a ploy by Chikwanda to pay himself retirement benefits.
In the next few coming days, we shall detail how CHINA Jiangxi Corporation is corruptly involved in the following projects:
1. Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway US$1.2 billion
• CHINA Jiangxi Corporation has started using drones to capture data for geotechnical works and road designs aimed at speeding up the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway.
2. MFEZ: US $300 million project
• first ever Multi Facility Economic Zone in Central Province by China Jiangxi United Industrial Investment.
• The Industrial Park located opposite Farm Store along the Great North Road project would accommodate various industries including motor vehicle and generator assembling plants.
• launched by EL but not operational. Stands to make billions of kwacha.
3. Shares in FQM –
• Jiangxi Mining has quietly purchased about 9.9 % of FQM, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its purchases have come through derivatives and direct stock purchases and have so far cost about $800m.
• There is a standstill agreement between FQM and Jiangxi in which the Chinese have agreed not to take over without the approval of FQM’s managers and shareholders
• Bought shares in FQM- enough to be below radar of reporting conditions Toronto stock exchange- which starts at 10% shareholding
• This gives them a share of dividends in the holding company which paid $3million Canadian dollars to shareholders in 2018
In Zimbabwe, China Jiangxi International has just lost a tender it had ‘won’ after corrupting tender officials in Zimbabwe.
China Jiangxi International was awarded a tender to construct the US$171 million Silverstroom Dam in Mashonaland Central province of Zimbabwe. However, this was later reversed, and tender given to another firm. The decision by the procurement entity was communicated to Jiangxi on 11 September 2019. China Jiangxi International was wrongly awarded the contract when it did not even qualify to bid. In terms of the bid requirements laid down in the standard bidding documents, requirements for eligibility included the submission of documents which are characteristic of local companies.