FISHO MWALE AND ZAMBIA’S DEBT, IS HE AT ZDA TO GET PUBLIC ASSETS?
Donegal International Ltd….
I am informed that Mr. Fisho Mwale is the new Chairperson of Zambia Development Agency(ZDA). The more things change the more they stay the same.
Let’s go back some 15 years ago, there was a company called Donegal International Ltd owned by an American, Michael Sheehan,which sought to ‘grab’ some assets belonging to the Zambian govt for non payment of some debt they had bought from the Romanian govt.
Background to the story;
In 1979 the UNIP govt in Zambia incurred indebtedness to Romania govt in respect of some agricultural machinery (yes our KK was very good friends with the then Romanian communist leader Nicholae Ceausescu)
In 19 Jan 1999 the Romanian govt now a democracy and free market out of the blue sold this debt to Donegal for US$3.2m
On 12 Feb 1999 the MMD govt acknowledged the assignment to Donegal as current holder of the debt.
In April 2003 Mr. Emmanuel Kasonde, as Zambia’s Finance Minister, and Donegal executed the settlement Agreement which set out an agreement about the discharge of the debt; among which the amount was a principal of US$29.8m with interest of US$14.9m(at 12%Pa) to 31 March 2003, making a total of US$44.7m
Issues to note:
Donegal had no presence in Zambia, the founder Mr Sheehan never worked in Zambia, the closest was him working in the DRC for some american ‘non-profit’ organisation.
Donegal was introduced and represented in Zambia by Mr. Fisho Mwale(former Lusaka Mayor) and Mr. George Chilupe(former GRZ Attorney General).
After buying this debt, that is the only asset Donegal had. They had not done such deals before.
Mrs Stella Chibanda and Mr.Richard Chizyuka then as key civil servants in the Ministry of Finance were fingered as some of the people who aided Donegal from inside govt.
How did Sheehan know about the Romanian debt? I don’t think the Romanians would want to sell a US$26m debt for US$3.2m, I believe they were ready to write off this debt.
Why was the Minister so keen to enter into such an agreement on behalf of poor Zambians ?
How did Fisho Mwale and George Chilupe know about Donegal?
Zambia is a very poor country economically which patriotic Zambian would help a foreigner to try and syphon a total of US$55m from such a govt which even at it’s best fails to balance its books and 15 years ago it was just as bad.
The same people who brought you Donegal are back again.
Who is going to drain the Lusaka swamp, we are tired of the recycling of the same players.