A senior Intelligence Official has disclosed that President Michael Sata has ignored advice to fire Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga for gross corruption while he served as Agriculture Minister. The source said a team of intelligence officers was assembled to conduct investigations on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and among the findings were corrupt activities on the part of the Minister including single sourcing a Chinese company to supply top dressing fertiliser.
The source said the team conducted a national wide forensic investigations and concluded that Mr. Sichinga whose son Chimwemwe is married to President Sata’s daughter Chilufya had a role to play in a number of transactions involving fertliser procurement. ” There was a team assembled by the President himself to find out why FISP was a failure and the report has been done and handed over to the President. Sichinga is at the center of most of the problems on FISP including single sourcing. At one time he even influenced the awarding of a tender to his friend’s company Mr. Hachipuka. He wanted Norwood a company which is in the Saw milling business to supply fertiliser. We just had to stop it’ the source said.
“When he recently made changes, we thought he was going to drop Honourable Sichinga but we understand his predicament. Sichinga is his relative but the fact is that Sichinga is not clean. In the course of our investigations, we discovered that Emmanuel Chenda attempted to do the same deals that Sichinga has done but Chenda was quickly removed from agriculture,” the source said.
” I believe one of the companies he single sourced from China to supply top dressing fertiliser may not have finished delivering up to now. It is a scandal,” the source said.