While his Minister of Lands Harry Kalaba is telling chiefs not to sell more than 250 hectares of Land, President Michael Sata has acquired 30000 hectares of Land in Mpika.
According to investigations conducted by the Zambian Watchdog and confirmed by senior Intelligence officers, Sata has acquired the land just opposite the Zambeef palm oil plantation. He also wants to start a palm oil plantation.
Sata has acquired part of the land Zambeef had earmarked for the expansion of their plantations once the pilot project proves successful.
Palm oil is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of cooking oil and stockfeed.
Investigations reveal that Sata has partnered with some Taiwanese businessmen to run the palm oil plantation. He has created a trust called ‘Michael Chilufya Sata Trust Fund’.
It is this Trust that he is using to partner with the Taiwanese.
The trust is run by Lusaka based Lawyer Bonaventure Mutale through his law firm ‘Ellis and Company’.
Investigations further reveal that the Taiwanese businessmen are the same ones who used to finance Sata when he was in the opposition.
They are the same characters who gave Sata even the US Dollar 20000, which was confiscated at Oliver Tambo Airport in South Africa.
Further investigations reveal that Sata initially acquired 5000 hectares during the time he served as Minister without Portofolio under late President Fredrick Chiluba.
This was state-land but Sata and his then Permanent Secretary Sebastian Kopulande shared 10000 hectares of land in Mpika.
Kopulande sold his 5000 hectares to Zambeef and that is what is called Zambeef Palm Oil Plantation in Mpika.
Sata kept his and has now acquired an extra 25000 hectares using his office to partner with the Taiwanese whom are reported to be in Malawi.
We are reliably informed that the lawyer for the Taiwanese businessmen is the young brother to Judge Lovemore Chikopa.
A senior intelligence officer has confirmed that surveyors from Ministry of Lands and others from private sector have just returned from Mpika.
The surveyors were provided with full security from state agents.
From 2011, ZAMBEEF Products Plc has been running a pilot project to grow palm oil in mpika.
In this pilot project, Zambeef pumped more than K13 billion (unrebased) to develop a raw material base for its palm oil requirements and cut down on imports.
Zambeef Chief Executive Officer Francis Grogan said in 2012 that:
“The pilot phase of the 4,000 hectare land is underway with $2.6 million already spent on it in 2011 alone. Should this be successful, it will lead to the development of the other land that we have,” he said.
He said Zambia and the region remained a major importer of vegetable oils and that Zambeef was currently a large importer of palm oil from the Far East for its edible oils division.
“Once yields of palm fruit commences, it will allow us to substitute imported palm oil and thereby improve on margins through an extension of primary commodity production and processing.
He said the 4,000 hectares of land being used in the pilot project is just one-fifth of the total land the Group has reserved for the palm tree plantation bringing the total land for the project to 20, 000 hectares.
Should the entire 20,000 hectares become productive, Zambeef would then start feeding the entire region through exports And in order to meet the anticipated increase in processing palm oil from the Zampalm project, Zambeef has also invested K30 billion into upgrading and expansion of its Zamanita plant.
Apparently this will not be. Sata has moved in and acquire the land Zambeef had reserved and will do exactly what Zambeef is doing.