PF officials and aligned civil servants have plundered close to K20 million (K 20 billion un-rebased) from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts before and during the just ended United Nations World Tourism organisation (UNWTO).
And PF the life of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry George Zulu is in danger for submitting a report of suspects to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The plunder has led to the complete shutting down of the Department of Tourism at the Ministry headquarters and sending all members of staff in the department on forced leave.
Well placed sources say the sending of civil servants on forced leave is designed to shield politicians who have plundered the money among them Minister responsible Silvia Masebo.
According to the sources, the Ministry awarded dubious and inflated tenders to among others PF Lusaka Province Youth Chairman Kennedy Kamba to pave roads in Livingstone before the UNWTO.
Kennedy Kamba’s contract is reported to have been inflated by K2 million (K2 billion un-rebased)
The other beneficiary and probably the biggest is PF Southern Province Chairlady Anne Nyirenda Tischer of Livingstone who did some drainage works and also provided some Event Management Services.
Anne Nyirenda Tischer who runs Mukamba Restaurant in Livingstone had her contract inflated by K5 million (K5 billion unrebased).
Another beneficiary Brian Hapunda who had a contract to provide road markings and had his contract inflated by K300, 000 (K 300 million un-rebased). Hapunda is president Michael Sata’ former secretary for Southern Province. He was fired a few weeks ago and arrested for receiving money in the name of Sata by false pretense. This time however he maybe safe as the plunder involved the whole PF system unlike in the first case where he was stealing for himself.
Former tourism Permanent Secretary now at Energy Charity Mwansa also is on the list of the plunderers.
Silvia Masebo is believed to have benefited through the main road contractor Inyatsi where she was given huge kickbacks.
The other beneficiary is reported to be PF Lusaka Province chairman Geoffrey Chumbwe.
A number of Ministry of Tourism officials are reported to have benefited.
The Department of Tourism headed by Mr. Albert Muchanga, former Zambia’s Ambassador to Brazil and Ethiopia, now the Director of Tourism has since been shut at the recommendation of the moribund Anti- Corruption Commission.
Meanwhile the Zambian Watchdog has been told that the life of Tourism Permanent Secretary George Zulu is in danger because most of the plunderers blame him for taking the list to the Anti- Corruption Commission though the audit was done by the Office of the Auditor General.
A source said a group belonging to Kennedy Kamba is very annoyed that Zulu reported the matter to the ACC and have vowed to bring him down.
“Zulu’s life is in danger because these thieves believe it is him who took the list to the ACC. The Kennedy Kamba group together with the Chumbwe group can be very dangerous but it is not his fault,. It is just procedural that the controlling officer reports once the Auditor General submits a written report,” the source said.
The source further said President Sata’s rhetoric about fighting corruption has now been put to a real test noting that the plunder at the Ministry of Tourism is far much bigger than that took place at the Ministry of Health engineered by another PF cadre Henry Kapoko.