Dear Concerned Zambian Citizens and the Government,
I wish to bring to your attention the mismanagement and misdealings that have rocked the state of the art multipurpose sports facility that was built by the International Olympic committee (IOC) in Lusaka, Zambia for the under privileged youth of Zambia and the neighbourng countries. This facility is called the Olympic Youth Development centre (OYDC).
OYDC is a partnership between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Government of the republic of Zambia (GRZ). This was built as a Pilot Project by the IOC and IOC intends to build many other similar facilities should the Zambian one succeed. However, the success or failure of this Zambian Project is yet to be determined as it is most likely headed for failure rather than success. It has only been open for 3 years and its success is very much doubtful if the man at the helm of this Institution is not fired. This man is the Director Mr Clement Chileshe.
I am a Sports person and I love Sport, so sometimes i go to the OYDC to witness some activities that are going on there. One day i bumped into this young staff member whose identity has been withheld for fear of victimization. I engaged the staff member into a conversation just to understand how the centre operates and how things were going. To my surprise it was like i had just opened a can of worms. The information he offloaded to me was like what I would call a bomb shell for lack of a better term. The question I asked myself was, “Where is the government when all these things are happening”?? I was under the impression that this institution was fully run by the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
The staff went to say ” I joined the Centre soon after its opening in mid 2010 and I must say that things were ok as the equipment was still new and staff were happy. We had a lot of sponsors such as the IOC itself, the GRZ, SAMSUNG, Coca Cola and an individual from the UK Mr Tuelings. It is very saddening to learn that some of these sponsors pulled out when they noticed that the centre failed to account for the Funds that they used to sponsor. These funds were chewed by the Director Clement Chileshe and his cartel.
Clement Chileshe and his A Team have ruined this Centre to the extent that clement hires and fires staff as he wishes. There is no HR department yet the centre employees over 100 staff members. Clement’s girl friend of a PA runs HR and Sales Department with her grade 9 certificate, you can imagine what an institution you will have. I thought people who practice HR must be certified by the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management (ZIHRM) which is not the case here, that is why there are pathetic conditions of service there.
Chileshe has managed to hire and fire his chief accountants every 4- 6 months and he implicates them as the squanders of the missing monies. The innocent IOC also fully funded the construction of a 51 roomed Lodge to completion but Chileshe has failed to complete the Lodge due to his busy schedule of putting more money in his pocket. He has failed to account on how he used the money…I tell you there are no records or receipts showing payments of materials in full to account for the entire funding. This Lodge was scheduled to open in January but upto now is not yet fully complete. The works that were done are shoddy, which shows you that even the contractor that was engaged was a cheap one so that they can channel the resources else where which they managed to do.In a space of 6 months, from January to June, Chileshe has managed to employ 2 Lodge Managers, so how do you run business like this. Chileshe, his Programme Manager, Administration Manager and Chief Accountant are some of the members in this money chewing scheme, I am yet to find out if the new Lodge Manager has been initiated to this money chewing scheme, but am sure it wont be long. But if he withstands this initiation ceremony, they will make sure that they frustrate him or even fire him to get someone they can easily control- lets wait and see !!
Chileshe has also been reported to be making sexual advances to his female staff, the recent victim who was brave enough to withstandd his usual sexual advances had her contract terminated and kissed good bye to her Job. All staff live in fear and can not even air out their grievances because of the dictatorship of Chileshe who runs the centre as his own company. There are no systems and procedures in place and everyone is doing everything and everything is being done by everyone, yet no one is willing to do anything. Now, you analyze this work environment for yourself!!!
Surprisingly, the centre has a board headed by a Mrs Moyo, but this board is very toothless as Chileshe has managed to buy off the majority votes in the board so they chew the funded money together. All what the board members do is to seat and discuss nothing and after that they get fat seating allowances yet the poor staff have gone for 2- 3 months without pay, which is the current situation. IOC sends money for salaries every quater and the next one is in July and thats when staff are likely to get their 3 months areas, if at all they will. Staff dont even have a platform to tell Chileshe that they dont have money for transport to get to and from work or pay rentals as there are no monthly staff meetings to address issues.If they abscond, they risk getting fired, so sometimes they walk to and from work, now imagine the distances in Lusaka.
The Centre has managed to get itself to a debt of not less than K3 billion or KR3 Million owed to companies that supplied materials for building the lodge or supplied food & linen to the centre. It is heart breaking to learn that the State of the Art (90 days legacy-Olympic sized swimming pool) which was built in December 2012 in good time for the Zone 6 games is a challenge to maintain. The Centre is even failing to buy chemicals to treat the water such that there is even that slippery green stuff developing underwater..what a shame !! The Pool is a meant to be a heated one, but its currently not, due to elctric faults which can be fixed if money is channeled to correct ventures not the mouth.
The state of the other sports facilities leaves much to be desired as they are deteriorating at fast rate, yet Chileshe has told IOC that the least paid staff get about KR2, 500.00 but the true situation on the ground is saddening”.
I asked this Staff member who had by this time seemed to have emptied what he had bottom in his heart for a while, why all this has not been reported to higher authorities like the Hon Minister of Youth & Sport Mr Chishimba Kambwili. He replied to say ” No one can fire Chileshe here in Zambia unless IOC, as he has managed to share the money with most government officials” But I said Hon Kambwili seems to be an honest and tough man, i dont think he can condon this, do you think hes aware?, he replied to say ” I dont think the Minister is aware, but his juinior officers are and they are hiding this info from him.” Then I told him to say, I will see if i can manage to get this info to him.
Dear watchdog, please convey this letter to the Public and the PF Governemnt through the energetic Hon Minister Kambwili and to the IOC and see if they can do anyhing to revamp this world class centre before the rest of the world laughs at us. Moreso those staff members have families to take care of and they need your help, before they die of hunger. I read Hon Kambwili’s article in yesterday’s Post Entiltled ( Kambwili bemoans luck of communication between his Ministry and NSCZ) where the Tennis ace Edger Kazembe recently travelled to Kenya by road for luck of funds. I realised that the Hon Minister does not get told all the info he is supposed to get and thats why i thought of letting him know through the Media for fear of victmisation.
I challenge the government and the IOC to immediately send auditors from Price Water house and the auditor Generals’ office to go and audit the books and ask all those that are owed money by the centre to come foward as the books might not show because of poor accounting practices there. You will be shocked on how many people are going to come forth claiming their money or what the auditors will find.
I remain Concerned