As can be seen from the attached images, which are in the public domain, it is evident that the two institutions which were offering loan services and savings were registered in accordance to what they thought was right. One can only wonder how those who were giving these licenses could have overlooked some other licenses, and not guide these institutions accordingly. Paccra saw this and approved, ZRA saw what Ono was doing, and approved, the council saw this and approved, the ministry of home affairs saw this and approved, the state securities saw this and approved.
The same government which was giving out these trading licenses is the same one which has come to point fingers at the people they allowed to practice the same business. Some ministers were even invited to attend pay day meetings for these very groups. For two years, these two groups and many others continue to freely advertise their saving schemes in the main stream media, where unless you are deaf and blind, would you afford to miss their adverts. In all this, the government gave a blind eye. Only to come and accuse them of money laundering just when they have gained the trust of the public. How did DEC not see the crimes in two years of operations. How did the bank of Zambia together with Zanaco not see this. Zanaco has held their accounts from inception. These supposed ponzy schemes have been operating right before our noses, yet no one for two years sat them down to check their credentials.
As far as I am concerned, there are no coincidences in government. Everything is usually planned, except of course when calamity hits or when the currency depreciates. The rest is usually planned by calculating and very highly manipulative people.
The government had all these wings who are there to safeguard the interests of the people, and if the people begin to mistrust the government, then the government is not equal to their task and mandate. Comsave as of April had in excess of k10million in their account. All from the general public who trusted them with their money. Yes, it might be true that they have been running ponzy schemes, but at what point should the public get to know what is legitimate and what is a fraud. Recently, I witnessed someone grow a $3 forex account to $200 in just two days. Does it mean such businessmen in Zambia are at risk?
The government needs to come up with clearly set out registration processes of these companies. Just a small company in Zambia would need over 5 licenses, and all these will be discovered on the day you are pounced on. The registration sectors of government never take the time out to educate the public. Everything is usually job on training.
The government should not be too quick to judge these people for wrong doing, and punish them in their ignorance, in as much as ignorance has no defense, the system is just flawed in Zambia. The procedures of registering an organization just never works to a Zambian’s advantage. Unless you are a foreigner, you might never get to hear exactly what is needed for you to trade in peace. What I am sure of is that 60% of the businesses in Zambia are trading illegally in one way or the other. One or two licenses are missing.
In the case of Ono savings and comsave, the government should admit to running a flawed system and offer guidance to these Zambians who started out something which may have seemed and operated as a ponzy scheme. If these people can manage to raise over k30 million in just two years, then they definitely have the words to convince people. That is where government comes in to consistently give counsel. Not everything deserves to be burned down to ashes. The moment government pulls these organizations down, mistrust will become the order of the day. Banks will longer be trusted, the government too will be seen as only agents of doom who work against it’s people. This case is truly a litmus paper which will always be used in case study of a classic scenario of a government mistrusting it’s own people.
The people of Zambia have had a lot of heart aches and heartbreaks. The wounds and scars which were left by mineral pay are still fresh in their minds. Government must be cognizant of the fact that people are rushing to these organization and possibly fraudulent businesses because the business environment is hostile. The national cake appears not to be enough for everyone. If the government had better alternative solutions to people’s needs, they would never dive to seek help from these. But no, there isn’t any hope out there. The taxes are too high for the common man to survive among the foreign nationals who come to our country as investors, get tax exemptions, and yet come with interest free loans in the millions. These are the people we come up against every other day of our lives. Most people did not join Ono or Comsave because they were practicing safe business, most Zambians joined because of the hope they provided us with. Ono and comsave gave us a chance to dream, a chance to believe that it was possible, a chance to look forward to something, and so at some point if they came and told us they were unable to pay.. we would have at least walked away the hope that they tried. It just makes sad reading to see how a lot of people have lost hope from this scenario.
It will take years for locals to trust again, worse still to trust a government which only jumps in when the future looks bright, only to curtail the very Ray of hope or thread that people were hanging onto.
Before the investigations conclude, the government has a choice to be on the right side of history. The monies involved here are still enough to be invested in other businesses so that the Ray of hope is not clouded and overshadowed. Let those two organizations be shown how to practice legitimate businesses. We trusted them with our money, yet none of us thought to trust in government owned investments. So show them the way. Win the hearts of the people, maybe one day, they may redirect the trajectory of history against where it is pointing. We all know how this investigation has been plotted. But please.. Be on the right side of history. For once, the cry of the people is that you side with them for a change.
Written by anonymous..