By Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
As the 2021 general election draws near, there is panic, while frantic efforts are being made by the PF regime to silence the 2019 Financial Intelligence Center Report to protect active criminal elements within government.
While the 2018 FIC report revealed that over $600m was stolen by PF politicians through a combination of fraud, money laundering, corruption and pure theft; leaked data now suggests that the plunder in the 2019 report has spiked to $1.4bn.
This rapid rise has been precipitated by mass corruption in the health sector, as well as infrastructure projects which have since stalled.
Zambians may also recall, that in 2018, there was a terrorism financing linked transaction which was flagged on Zambian soil; except the individuals involved are now said to be close associates and sponsors of the party in power and this is precisely why this dirty transaction was never investigated.
The regime is also rumoured to have extracted $650m in an upfront payment for the surrender of gold rights to foreigners in strategic places around the country using a paltry $2.5m payment as a Joint Venture facade.
This is why the regime has been reluctant to recall the JV to pave way for a wholely Zambian controlled precious metals Enterprise.
Recently, the health Minister has been in and out of Anti Corruption Commission offices for questioning on charges of criminal possession, the latest being a $5m paid out as a front in the irregular award of a contract to a non existent company.
But the truth is, this money did not go anywhere except into the pockets of high ranking government officials as there was never a company to pay and no kits were ever to be supplied.
The latest scam being the over $400m COVID19 bond scam. No one in the world will issue debt money to the regime, especially not via capital market operations. This is why the regime were kin to run down the monetary policy supervisory powers of the Bank of Zambia using Bill 10, so that they can be in charge of printing money. The continued delay of Bill 10 means they are running out of time to print this money, purely intended to go to fantom suppliers and party operatives.
The strategy for the regime is to cause the non publication of the 2019 FIC to cover their criminal activities, while the best case scenario is a watered down report which is may be expected to cover the tracks of grave criminal activities of high ranking government officials.
We need to be careful.