Monday 27th October 2020.
LUNGU SHOULD APPEAR BEFORE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
LUSAKA – AS United Party for National Development (UPND) youths we welcome the Privatisation Inquiry on condition that it is not targeted at any individual or indeed any group of individuals.
We believe there are some irregularities in the way some of our national assets were sold. We urge the Inquiry to rise above narrow political interests and conduct a fair inquiry.
It is for this reason that we are demanding that the Privatisation Commission of Inquiry Government intends to create investigates Patriotic Front President Edgar Lungu over his role in the privatisation of the Lusaka plant of the Zambia Cold Storage Corporation Limited.
Mr Lungu was the chairman of the negotiating team for the privatisation of the company . Galaun Farms of Lusaka had offered a better deal worth K675 million cash for assets of Zambia Cold Storage excluding residential properties . Mr Edgar Lungu abandoned negotiations with Galaun and instead preferred to sell the company to Kembe Estates who had offered a paltry K338.8 million for all the assets including residential properties.
What motivated Mr Lungu to offer Zambia Cold Storage Company to Kembe Estates? Is it true that Mr Lungu was offered huge sums of money as negotiating chairman to influence the transaction?
The proposed commission of inquiry on privatisation of state owned companies should delve into this puzzle.
We cannot help but wonder why Mr Lungu settled for a deal that clearly disadvantaged the nation.
We can only speculate that he had personal interest in the deal and was probably offered a lot of money to ensure Kembe got the deal despite offering half what the highest bidder was offering
Mr Lungu’s dealings and friendship with Greek Cypriots Chris Spyron, an honourary Consul of Cyprus to Zambia then, and his brother the other director in Kembe Estate Limited needs to be investigated.
Mr Edgar Lungu needs to clear his name through the commission of inquiry.
Mr Lungu’s professional misconduct in this matter caused significant costs for Zambia Cold Storage Corporation operations.
We know that Galaun Farms got an injunction restraining the Zambia Privatisation Agency from selling to Kembe Estates alleging Mr Lungu was paid huge sums of money to offer the company to Kembe Estates.
This transaction could not be progressed as a result of Mr Lungu’s dealings.
We feel this case is a good candidate for Patriotic Front proposed tribunal on the privatisation process.
All this information is collaborated on page 126 of the Zambia Privatisation Agency Report.
Today, the entire country is reeling under unprecedented economic meltdown and a mountain of debt. This is because Mr Lungu has not changed. He is still the same greedy, selfish individual who opted to deprive the country of a very good deal in the sale of Cold Storage for a few pieces of silver.
We urge the Zambians to rise up in numbers next year and kick him out before our entire economy comes down to a grinding halt.
Issued by: Likando Mufalali
*UPND National Youth Chairman*