Former president Rupiah Banda, his son Henry Banda, Democratic Republic of Congo Katanga Governor and president Edgar Lungu have sealed a multi-million US dollars arms deal to supply the various military units in the country as middlemen, the Zambian watchdog can reveal and challenges the PF government to refute.
The secret arms deal that was witnessed by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda and PF Secretary General Davies Chama was sealed at Mfuwe’s Chichele Presidential Guest House and part of the proceeds will go towards funding Lungu’s 2016 elections.
Henry was smuggled into the country through Mwami border by the Malawian Director of Finance at Agriculture Marketing Cooperation by the name of Harry Kanjewe and spent a night at his father’s farm.
At the border Henry entered the Zambian territory with the names Ephraim Kanjewe using a disguised Malawian Red Cross Nissan Hard Body vehicle Registration number BN 3931, that was being driven by Harry Kanjewe.
Sources close to the talks revealed that the negotiations for the arms deal facilitated by Henry Banda started somewhere around 2010 and were almost being concluded in 2011 when Banda was still president and was confident of victory.
But when Michael Sata won the elections, he cancelled it completely as he wondered why the Zambian government was using middlemen to procure arms and other items when they could buy straight from manufacturers.
“Sata cancelled that deal and that’s why he never got along with Katumbi throughout his presidency. Katumbi even stopped attending and supporting the various traditional ceremonies in Zambia such as Mtomboko because a number his deals were cancelled by late Sata. Now Lungu as president with Rupiah Banda running the show, all the deals Sata had cancelled are finally back on the table,” sources revealed.
As Defense Minister, Lungu has been aware of this deal that was cancelled by late president Sate that’s why it did not take long to quickly agree with it now that he is president. Lungu has retained his position as minister of defence.
To avoid audit queries, the deal will be processed under Office of the President Secret State Security Act and will not need any tender procedures.
Lungu even boasted that he needed a speedy action on this deal and would deal with anybody that would slow down the process because the PF party needed money to immediately start the 2016 campaigns.
Since the Zambian government is broke, Lungu directed Finance Minister Chikwanda to shelve and put-off other urgent government projects such as roads, and hospitals and quickly find money for this deal especially from the mining firms from Copperbelt and Northwestern province.
Katumbi flew back to DRC in a private jet soon after agreeing with the terms and will now, together with Henry Banda, proceed to buy military equipment for the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF), Zambia National Service (ZNS) and Zambia Police.
During late president Frederick Chiluba’s reign, the Zambian government lost more than US$20 million another arms deal that were not delivered by Moise Katumbi and his associates Katebe Katoto. The Zambian government under Mwanawasa issued arrest warrants for Katumbi but Rupiah Banda cancelled them just after Mwaanawasa died.
Banda made sure Chiluba’s cases did not proceed.
Another of Banda’s sons James Banda currently resides in DRC in the Katanga region governed by Katumbi where he does his business.