Chinese firm confirms US$25 million was released, claims was used for airport drawings

In a poor attempt for damage control and after being pressured by Mwewa, Bwembya Chikwanda and Mulenga Sata, the Chinese contractor China Jiangxi involved in the corruption scandal at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport confirmed that it received US$25 million dollars from the  Zambian government. See original revelation here

Mr. Hu, the man behind the looting of the US25 million counter part funding from Zambian government together with public tender thief Joseph Mwewa,  Mulenga Sata and Chikwanda said the money has been used to pay for the designs and preliminary issues. ZNBC carried a story quoting Mr. Hu saying the works at the airport will start next month once the China Exim bank release the first batch of the funds.

Well, the Chinaman really knows Zambians are docile and can easily accept cheap lies that it costs US25 million to design airport drawings.

The Chinese contractor said the China Exim bank will release the first batch of 72 million dollars next month but he did not disclose that the delay is as a result of the US25 million dollars having been looted in Zambia before it could reach Exim bank as part of counter part funding.
However, Mr. Hu and ZNBC did not disclose that in fact there is a case before the High Court where three reputable Zambian firms that designed the airport have not been paid and have sued China Jiangxi.

“So who did they pay for the designs and preliminary work when the Zambian companies are in court now,?” the Zambia public procurement official asked.

Another Zambian firm, Arbecon, working with other Zambian experts, last month sued China Jiangxi for non payment of money for the environmental impact assessment which was done at the airport. (See at below)

High judge Nigel Mutuna ordered that the Chinese pay the Zambians after Hu and his team failed to put up a defence.

“The firm had to take them to court for them to pay Zambians,” the source said.

He indicated that Joseph Mwewa, an expert in siphoning out public funds through fake tenders, received a substantial amounts of the money from the 25 million dollars which he shared with Bwembya Chikwanda, a son of finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, Mulenga sata, national Airport director Robinson Misitala and national airports chair lady Mubanga Musakanya.

At least ZNBC and Mr. Hu have now confirmed our story that Government released the US25 million dollars which they squandered saying they used the funds for designs when the architects and quantity surveyors have not been paid.

BELOW IS THE CASE IN COURT AS REPORTED BY THE POST NEWSPAPER:

THREE local companies have sued China Jiangxi Corporation for allegedly refusing to pay them after they provided initial preliminary work and designs for the proposed upgrade of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. In this matter, Matthew Ngulube, trading as MLN Associates, Fidelis Bwalya, trading as Sphinx Design and AMG Global Limited who are first, second and third plaintiffs respectively have sued China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Corporation Zambia Limited claiming over K40, 540,000, interest on the amount and the court’s declaration that they remain part of the consortium with the defendant until completion of the upgrade of the KKIA. The companies are also seeking costs and any other relief the court might deem fit. According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court commercial registry, the companies submitted that Sphinx Design and Associates Architects, the Chinese company together with Asphalt Roads Zambia Limited entered into a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 10, 2012, a project implementation consortium for purposes of bidding for the proposed upgrade of the KKIA in Lusaka. They stated that the MoU empowered the parties to invite other prominent Zambian firms to join the consortium to carry out various professional work required for the tender process and further implementation of the proposed upgrade of the KKIA in the event of winning the tender. According to the statement, the parties invited MLN Associates, Sphinx Design and AMG Global to be part of the consortium to provide various professional services. The companies stated that it was the spirit of the MoU that Zambian firms would be invited to be part of the consortium to play a role in the tender process as well as construction of the project in the event of winning the tender in order to strengthen friendship between Zambia and China. The companies stated that Joseph Mwewa from Asphalt Roads Zambia Limited was subsequently appointed team leader of the consortium and was also appointed as sole representative of all of them in dealing with the Chinese company in as far as the upgrade of the KKIA was concerned. They stated that they attended several meetings and a briefing with other consortium members for the purposes of carrying out their various agreed consultancy works towards the tender process and eventual award of the contract to the Chinese company for the proposed upgrade of KKIA. The companies stated that MNL Associates provided professional consultancy services to the consortium by attending to all matters that required the input of a quantity surveyor in line with the tender documents and requirements for such works after the award of the tender to the Chinese Company. The companies submitted that Sphinx Design and associate architects also provided various consultancy works and professional services to the defendant and, in particular, played a financial and transaction advisory role to the project as well as financial proposals submitted during the biding process leading to the award of the tender to the Chinese company. “As result of the inputs and profiles of the first, second and third plaintiffs and other consortium members, submitted during the tender process, the defendant was duly awarded a contract to upgrade the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport,” read the statement in part. The companies submitted that they sent detailed invoices to the Chinese company through Mwewa, jointly amounting to K43, 540,350.00 after the defendant signed a contract with the government. They stated that Mwewa on behalf of the Chinese company expressed his satisfaction in the manner the companies worked in the tender process and paid K185,000, K200,000 and another K185,000 to the trio as gratis payment while waiting for the detailed invoices to be verified and paid by the Chinese company. However, the companies stated that they waited for a long time to be paid their fees but nothing was forthcoming, which prompted them to write a letter of demand dated March 31, 2014 to the Chinese company. They added that in the same demand letter, they raised other issues concerning the manner the defendant was sidelining the Zambian consortium members. The companies stated that Mwewa replied to their letter and refused to acknowledge the indebtedness of the Chinese company and called the demand unjust enrichment, adding they had been paid for the work they had done so far. They stated that they insisted that they had not been paid for various professional services rendered so far and had provided detailed invoices itemizing the consultancy work done and various costs and fees. They stated that following the refusal by the defendant to pay them their fees, they wrote another demand through their lawyers Messrs Mvunga and Associates, but the defendant had not responded to their demand. The companies also stated that they were aware that the government released US$25 million to the Chinese company as part of the counterpart funding towards the US $385 million loan from China EXIM Bank for the upgrade of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. They stated that part of the money has been used by the defendant and Asphalt Roads Zambia Ltd to procure equipment and to pay China Airports Construction Group Corporation (CAACP) as fees for preliminary and detail design fees while the Zambian companies have not been paid despite having submitted their claims through invoices. They stated while they had not been paid, the Chinese company had been given their money from the US$25 million released by the government.

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