By Saviour Chishimba
Our dossiers clearly indicate that Chinese companies have become conduits of plunder and paymasters for politicians and senior civil servants.
The latest corrupt practices on the K140 milllion (US$14 million) fiscalisation project under the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is another clear case of how public officers are conniving with bogus Chinese investors to plunder public resources.
We in the UPP have indisputable evidence on how the Chinese have been dubiously awarded the tender for the “Design, supply, delivery, installation, supervision, configuration, testing and commissioning of an Invoicing Management System (Electronic Fiscal Devices).”
While the proposed contract price by the Chinese company called Righlux Services and Inspur Group (Joint Venture) is K84, 017, 576.10, the total funding for the project is K140 million. Therefore, this whole amount would end up being committed to the project in line with the practice, under the PF-MMD regime, of inflating contract prices during final negotiations with contractors.
There are many credible companies with proper roots in Zambia and Africa that have the capacity to undertake this project, but due to massive Chinese corruption, Zambians whose pockets are not big enough to pay upfront bribes have been left out.
The UPP Intelligence Unit has done due diligence, which reveals that the chosen Chinese company failed to deliver under the fiscalisation project of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). ZIMRA suspended its senior officials in December 2016 over the corrupt practices associated with Inspur.
Worse enough, the prices that Inspur sold the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) to business houses in Zimbabwe was more than triple the normal market price. The EFDs were as high as US$1, 700. In addition to the high cost of EFDs, the whole project was tardy and associated with numerous technical bottlenecks which resulted in high revenue leakages in Zimbabwe.
With this overwhelming evidence before us, it is insane and foolish on the part of ZRA to pay a blind eye to the rot driven by Inspur in Zimbabwe and decide to recycle corruption in Zambia. Enough is enough!
The Zambia Revenue Authority must take note that it occupies a sacred position of collecting taxes on behalf of the people of Zambia. Simply put, ZRA is the financial soul of the nation and we in the UPP do not expect acts of plunder by the authority.
UPP shall not allow Zambian businesses to be subjected to the fiscalisation project which will put them at the mercy of the corrupt Chinese who would certainly supply defective EFDs at a very high cost as evidenced by the Zimbabwe case.
Zambian businesses are already facing liquidity problems because of the high cost of doing business and corruption. All public contracts have now become a special preserve of the Chinese, Ministers and the Presidency.
We give ZRA a seven day ultimatum to cancel the tender and re-evaluate the bids. The ACC must fully be involved in monitoring the whole process.
The other cases that are still very active before the UPP, under the #BringBackOurMoney! crusade, on behalf of the people of Zambia, include the following:
1. The appointment of the tribunal to probe Hon. Dora Siliya over the K345 million maize exportation scandal;
2. The K1.23 billion financial scandals of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA);
3. The corruption by Ministers in collusion with the Public and Private Drivers Association of Zambia (PPDAZ);
4. The corruption of the Ministry of Youth and Sport in respect of youth empowerment funds and the striping of assets of NYDC; and
5. The decade long corruption of the Road Development Agency (RDA).
The dossiers before UPP show that, unless we unite and fight for a new Zambia, the future of our nation is bleak under the PF-MMD regime.
Corruption and bad leadership have become fully entrenched in the running of government. The insensitivity that the regime has shown in the reckless use of public resources is even more worrisome.
We urge the people of Zambia to be fully involved in the fight against corruption. The ACC is under siege at the hands of State House which has become the centre for the award of public contracts and corruption.