Government has dismissed a media statement attributed to Patriotic Front Leader Michael Sata accusing it of scheming to get kickbacks from LITASSO a Russian oil firm as a lie.
Reacting to media reports by PF Leader Michael Sata that government was maneuvering to manipulate the tender process in the supply and delivery of crude oil for the 2010-2012 period in favour of Russia’s LITASCO which energy Minister Kenneth Konga is alleged to have negotiated with, Chief Government spokesperson Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha said the opposition leader’s statement reveals how ignorant and uninformed Mr. Sata is about the major players in the oil industry.
Lt.Gen Shikapwasha explained that LITASCO, the company that Mr. Sata made reference to, is a reputable company, contrary to his claims that it is a “conman company”.
He said if Mr. Sata cared to tell the nation the truth, he would have taken time to visit the website for LITASCO before commenting.
Lt. Gen Shikapwasha said it is very disheartening to have leaders who are so poor in accessing free information on the internet.
He said everybody knows that Russia supplies oil and gas to most of West European countries and it is not true that Russia does not have enough oil for itself.
Lt. Gen Shikapwasha who is also Information and Broadcasting Minister assured the nation that none of the companies being considered to supply oil to Zambia is a “conman company”.
He further said that the people of Zambia should know that government is looking for better and greater opportunities for Zambia to have the best and stable supplies of oil products.
Lt. Gen Shikapwasha added that it is against this background that all the companies that bid to supply oil are being considered by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) professionally.
The Chief Government Spokesperson said government is convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that ZPPA will choose the best bidder, in the interest of Zambia.
Lt. Gen Shikapwasha further said government believes that Energy Minister Kenneth Konga is on course and must be supported by all well meaning Zambians to ensure success in the commodity provision in the country.
He said government is aware that the only reason why Mr. Sata sees corruption in everything that the government is doing is because he would induce corruption in such transactions if he were to run government.
Lt. Gen Shikapwasha reminded the PF Leader that his past is well recorded and known by most Zambians.
Meanwhile Lt. Gen Shikapwasha has charged that government takes strong exception to Forum Democracy and Development (FDD) President Edith Nawakwi’s Comments on corruption.
He said the perception that Zambia is a corrupt nation started with the infamous Carlington Maize deal, which Ms. Nawakwi knows better and the role she played in the deal.