The United Progressive People (UPP) has confirmed that it shall proceed to petition the Chief Justice to set up a tribunal to probe Dora Siliya, the Minister of Agriculture, for being the chief facilitator in the fraudulent transactions and corrupt practices involving the purported government-to-government US$34.5 million maize exportation deal between Malawi and Zambia.
This will be the second time Siliya will be facing a corruption tribunal within five years. She still has criminal cases in the courts of law over the corruption during her tenure as minister of communication in the MMD regime. She was found guilty by the first tribunal, which also recommended that she should be prosecuted. But before the court processes ended, Siliya was appointed minister again.
UPP president Saviour Chishimba explained that:
Our authentic evidence and the confirmation of the reports of the Malawi Commission of Inquiry and the Joint Parliamentary Committee beg an expeditious action for justice.
The Malawi Joint Parliamentary Committee which conducted independent investigations, alongside the Commission, into the K345 million (US$34.5 million) Zambia-Malawi maize exportation scandal presented its report to parliament in Malawi yesterday with damning revelations.
The report squarely confirms what UPP exposed from the very beginning that there were multiple counts of corruption and fraud in the whole deal.
According to the report, “…the committee found that in his wrongful endeavour, Hon. Dr. George Chaponda was aided by the Zambian Minister of Agriculture who instructed her Permanent Secretary to issue Transglobe with a maize export permit for 50, 000 MT when Transglobe did not legally qualify for one on account of not being a registered taxpayer in Zambia.”
Apart from directing her permanent secretary to engage in dubious dealings, it can be deduced from our evidence that Hon. Dora Siliya caused the coming into the whole deal of Zdenakie Commodities which has unholy association with State House.
State House must clear the name of President Edgar C. Lungu in this serious matter. The confirmation about the direct involvement of the President cannot be ignored – the people of Zambia desire truth and justice. This is the righteousness of God.
The report further states thus, “…the committee also established that ADMARC engaged in fraudulent activities by backdating the contract that it signed with ZCF…”
The new fraudulent contract ushered into play new corrupt corporations through which the looting, without paying taxes, was going to be executed.
The unprecedented high price of mealie meal has been caused by the corruption of State House and the Ministry of Agriculture that are entertaining cartels of grain hoarders and the failure to courageously deal with the situation.
Grain hoarders want to corruptly surface whenever opportunities emerge for exports. In this context, the people of Zambia must question all maize exportations including the recent announcement to export maize to Zimbabwe.
If UPP were in power, firm action would have been taken to criminalise the hoarding of maize. Holding of commodities to create artificial shortages in face of high demand is a very serious crime in all the developed nations.
We urge the government to immediately take steps that will bring down the price of mealie meal and avert the hunger among Zambian families that are now failing to buy this basic staple food.
President Edgar C. Lungu has been behaving like a man under siege. He knows that the key to solving the corruption in the agriculture sector is in the sacking of Hon. Dora Siliya and ensuring that all the corrupt grain holding curtails face the full force of the law.
God bless our nation!
#UPP: #Dignity & #Justice for #All!