Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Forrie Raisi Tembo has been implicated in the smuggling of 21 trucks loaded with maize to Mozambique.
Tembo is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nyimba.
The Police, Zambia National Service and OP intercepted Tembo’s trucks last Thursday and are still detained at Nyimba police statio.
Each of the 21 trucks is loaded with 600 bags of maize. Tembo is said to be working with Food Reseve Agency officials and in this particular case, two FRA managers one from Chipata and Nyimba are being questioned by police.
Tembo is trying to disentangle himself from the crime and his statement to the investigators so far is that he sold the maize to another company and that it is that company that is involved in smuggling.
But police sources tell the Watchdog that all documentations point to Tembo’s company.
On Saturday, Tembo attempted to force the police to release the contraband and trucks but Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo put his foot down.
Police sources say whatever smuggling of maize that is going on, it is orchestrated by senior government officials.
According to investigations conducted, Kennedy Kamba the PF Lusaka Province Youth chairperson runs one of the main smuggling rings by senior PF officials.
Kennedy Kamba uses a company called MBK Engineering and Contractors in which he is a director.
Kamba has been doing this in collaboration with Food Reserve Agency Executive Director Chola Kafwabulula.
When a senior PF official approaches Kamba for Maize, Kafwabulula or Kamba tells that person to deposit money in the MBK Engineering and Contractors account that is held at Finance Bank Main Branch in Lusaka’s Cairo Road.
The person is told to deposit the amount for the Maize to be purchased plus 10 percent commission. After depositing the money in this account, the person goes with a deposit slip to Kamba then Kamba writes a note to the FRA Executive Director. The FRA Chief then authorizes the release of the Maize for exporting illegally.
According to investigations, this trend has been going on for a long time and has contributed to Millers complaining that they can not access cheap Maize from FRA than in return can contribute to reduction in Mealie-Meal prices.
Remember also that the bulky of the maize was exported to Zimbabwe, Congo, Malawi and South Africa by the PF government.