Nkole: we have traced Chiluba’s money in Europe

TASKFORCE on Corruption executive chairperson Maxwell Nkole has said his organisation will pursue the case of US $20 million

Ari-Ben-Menashe

Ari-Ben-Menashe

arms deal and the Carlington maize saga for as long as it has the mandate.

A non-governmental organisation has, however, called for the disbandment of the organisation following the acquittal of former president Frederick Chiluba saying it has outlived its usefulness.

Mr Nkole said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday (Sunday) that $28 million was a lot of money for Zambians to forego hence the resolve by the taskforce to pursue the two issues to their logic conclusion.

But Citizens’ Committee executive director Gregory Chifire said in a separate interview in Lusaka that President Rupiah Banda should disband the Taskforce saying its mandate had ended with the acquittal of Dr Chiluba last week.

Mr Nkole said all those calling for the disbandment of the entity should tell Zambians how they intended to pursue the two scandals saying the Taskforce’s preoccupation was to recover the funds and prosecute whoever benefited from them in any way.

He said that on the Carlington maize deal involving $8 million, the whereabouts of one of the two masterminds, Alexander Legalt, a Canadian, have been discovered while the other one, Arri Ben Menashe, an Arabian, was still on the run.

“These are the two key people whom we have been hunting for since 2003 and it has not been easy because these are trans-national crimes,” he said.

He said that the organisation had received information that Legalt was in jail in one of the states in American and would face another sentence on October 10 this year for brokering other fraudulent deals.

Mr Nkole reiterated that the $8 million was obtained from the Zambian Government for the procurement of the maize but the commodity was never delivered.


On the $20 million arms deals, Mr Nkole said that the Zambian Government paid out $20 million for the purchase of arms but the weapons were never delivered to Zambia.

He said but the taskforce had now established where the money was deposited in one of the banks in Europe and could not just move in until after their requests were responded to by the relevant wings of the involved country.

On the disbandment, Mr Nkole said that he had no problem with that if the people of Zambia and the appointing authority decided that doing away with the entity was the route to take.

He said he was aware that the Taskforce had been under threat since 2006 but for as long as it remained with the mandate, it would continue discharging its responsibilities by pursuing all the cases lined up.

But Mr Chifire said now that Taskforce prime case involving Dr Chiluba had been disposed of, President Banda should disband the organisation and incorporate the resources being spent on it into the mainstream security wings.

He said the organisation was saying that it still had cases to investigate because it wanted to prolong its existence saying that the Government was spending a lot of money to sustain it.

Mr Chifire wondered why the Taskforce, when investigating the period 1991-2001 just concentrated on a few suspects instead of widening the gap and left out areas like the sale of the mines.

He said his organisation was equally disappointed by the Roman Catholic Church, which he accused of sowing a seed of division in the nation.

And National Energy sector and allied workers union (Nesawu) has challenged the Catholic Church to weigh in on priests that have been attacking the Government.

General secretary Yotam Mtayachalo said in Ndola yesterday that the church leadership should control the priests who have been attacking Government on many issues.

“I am sure the church has a hierarchy and it is important that the leaders guide the priests because what is happening is causing division among the flock. In church members belong to different political parties,” he said.

Mr Mtayachalo said that it was surprising that the priests only directed their criticism on the Government and kept quiet when opposition parties made mistakes.

FROM TIMES OF ZAMBIA

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