Kabwata MP Given Lubinda has accused Libya’s LAP Green managers of externalizing money from Zambia despite Zambia freezing its 75 per cent stake in line with the UN resolution 1973 of 2011.
Lubinda told a local newspaper that there was need to remove LAP Green-appointed top officials in Zamtel to halt further “siphoning” of the money.
“We have impeccable evidence of the fact that money is leaving Zamtel to offshore accounts,” Lubinda said in an interview. “Why is that money being allowed to be siphoned out of Zamtel? While we appreciate that LAP green has invested large amounts of money in Zamtel, the rate at which Zamtel is losing money to foreign accounts, we have no doubt that within the next three to four months, the total investments made by LAP green in Zamtel will have been externalised, and at that stage, Zamtel will be left a shell of itself.”
Lubinda said freezing of the Lap Green assets would only make sense if the management was also withdrawn from “the owners of those shares.”
“I want to challenge the government of Zambia to indicate to the Zambians how Zambia is controlling the externalisation of resources from Zamtel,” Lubinda said. “What measures are being put in place to ensure the proceeds from Zamtel are not being externalised to fund Libya’s wars. Freezing the asset and still allow the owners of the asset to run it is not freezing at all. It’s a mockery, cosmetic and meant to hoodwink the international community. ”
Lubinda said while countries like Uganda and Rwanda were implementing the UN resolutions by taking over management of the affected assets, the hands of the government of Rupiah Banda were tied owing to the corrupt manner in which they sold Zamtel.
Lubinda described as “cosmetic and smokescreen”, the announcement that Zambia had frozen LAP Green’s 75 per cent stake in Zamtel which it bought last year in transaction criticised by key stakeholders and the opposition political parties.
“The so-called rebranding of Zamtel is nothing but a smokescreen by LAP Green in collusion with the government of Mr Rupiah Banda,” he said. “They are trying to hoodwink Zambians that everything is in order, that Zambia is in control when in effect Zambia has no control whatsoever in the management of Zamtel. For as long as the operations are under the control of Lap Green and their agents, then the freezing of assets is nothing but cosmetic. You can only do that if you follow what Uganda and others have done, and that to not only freeze the shares and also take over the management of the asset. That is the only way you can claim to be implementing the resolution 1973 of UN to the letter and in the spirit of the law.”
Lubinda, who is chairperson of African Parliamentarians Against Corruption (APNAC), advised Zamtel managing director Hans Paulsen not to act as spokesperson of the Zambian government.
“Poulsen and all his friends who are running Zamtel are appointees of LAP Green in Libya and the ones running LAP green were appointed by Muammar Gaddafi,” Lubinda said. “There is no way they can now separate themselves from Gaddafi, now that he is at war with his people. Gaddafi and his people still have total control of all institutions he created including LAP Green.”
And Lubinda said Siliya would die with the responsibility of explaining everything that would happen to Zamtel. He said there was no reason whatsoever why government could not do that which was expected of it under UN Security Council resolution until such a time that everyone was satisfied that proceeds from Zamtel would not go into feeding Gaddafi’s war to exterminate Libyans pushing a popular uprising to end his 41-year old tyrannical rule.
Although Zamtel was sold last year in a deal orchestrated by former transport minister Siliya, President Rupiah Banda’s son Henry and Cayman Islands-based RP Capital, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) were later involved as an investment and privatisation wing of the government.
“Instead of LAP Green struggling to clarify this matter, can the ministers of finance and transport, especially the architect of selling of Zamtel because there is more to it than meets the eye,” said Lubinda.
“She (Siliya) individually against advice from experts, Attorney General, without approval from Cabinet, she alone is the one who determined Zamtel’s destiny. So, whatever happens at Zamtel, Dora Siliya will continue to be held accountable until her death. Whenever the name Dora Siliya will be referred to in future, it shall be in connection with the sale of Zamtel, nothing else.”
Lubinda said Zamtel was a security installation which could not be left in the hands of people at war.