Construction of the Levy Junction multi-purpose facility along Church road in Lusaka is ground to a halt amid allegations of fraud and corruption involving three ministers and the chief executive officer.
The former ESCO premises is funded by the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) to a tune of US$200 Million and is designed to house office spaces, a hotel and a shopping complex.
Allegations are that works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti, labour minister Austin Liato and agriculture minister Peter Daka have helped themselves to the construction fund.
The Construction Company ZKON is failing to pay suppliers and contractors and have run a huge overdraft at the Nigerian bank, Access.
With the huge amounts spent on the works so far, the buildings should have been completed. But the works have just begun and the funders who are using pension funds are scratching their heads at the festering US$200 that seems to have disappeared.
Despite this plunder, the Levy Junction is just across the Lusaka Central police station.
Workers are also accusing ZKON director Jonathan Sinyinza of diverting huge funds to construct his mansion in Kabulonga along Reedbuck Road.
Sinyinza is not new to such allegations as in 2001; he was accused of similar charges when his company Sinetech failed to complete the Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) project. The PHI story ended in its chairperson Richard Sakala being imprisoned.
Sinyinza is accused of using a spider web by pretending to borrow from Access bank where the project fund is banked to build his US$2 million mansion which dwarfs most mansions in Lusaka.
NAPSA is using money it holds for pensioners. Recently, NAPSA was involved in another scam where pension funds were wasted through a fraudulent investment of US$4 Million in Munali Coffee. About the same period, NAPSA partnered with some Lebanese businessmen who run Horizon printers to form a gambling outfit New Lotto.
A day ago, ZNBC reported that Workers at the construction site for the multi billion Kwacha Levy junction business park in Lusaka on Monday staged a sit – in protest demanding payment of delayed salaries.
The irate workers were also pushing for improved conditions of service.
Workers’ representative Nelson Tembo accused the contractor ZCON of failing to improve workers conditions.
ZCON Corporate Affairs Manager Emmanuel Chilekwa said the company is currently working on contracts for the workers.