By Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
Before we analyse the latest deception engineered by the Patriotic Front (PF) , let us summarise the key allegations at the heart of the Zambia Rwanda Terrorist financing scandal.
Note that none of the below is intended to imply any measure of guilt on the part of any individual, but merely an analysis of information available in the public domain.
The testimony by Major Callixte Nsabimana also known as “Sankara” alleges the following:
– President Edgar Lungu gave Paul Rusesabagina $150,000 out of a total pledge of $1m towards the end of 2017. He further offered the rebels the ability to operate freely in Zambia.
– The president allegedly sympathised with Rusesabagina for the treatment he had to endure under the Paul Kagame regime. Rusesabagina had great respect for the president due to the help / support he had offered fleeing Rwandan businessmen.
– In early 2019, Nsengiyumva Appolinaire met with the President to discuss further support for overthrowing the Kagame regime.
We therefore have FIVE key players in this saga:
1. President Edgar Lungu – the only Zambian Citizen alleged to be involved
2. Major Callixte Nsabimana also known as “Sankara” – FLN leader, has already pleaded guilty to charges laid against him for attacks in Rwanda.
3. Paul Rusesabagina – Another alleged FLN leader last known to be based out of Belgium with a trucking business in ZAMBIA setup in the late 90’s after fleeing Rwanda.
4. Nsengiyumva Appolinaire – A Rwandan living in ZAMBIA operating an SME.
5. Kayumba Nyamwasa – former Rwandan military chief, arch enemy of Paul Kagame, exiled in South Africa and accused of Terrorism in Rwanda. Despite an arrest warrant, brags about being able to visit Zambia often and has allegedly been seen visiting Zambia often lately.
Joe Malanji does not feature on this list, and therefore is most likely unaware if any of these allegations carry weight. He is merely acting on instructions.
As part of the trial in May 2019, Sankara alleged the involvement of high ranking intelligence officials in UGANDA and BURUNDI. Meanwhile the RWANDAN PROSECUTION alleged funding for this rebel group came from Rwandan refugees living in countries including ZAMBIA. Recruitment was also alleged to be happening in ZAMBIA.
Therefore, the initial allegations of terrorism financing and recruitment happening on ZAMBIAN soil came from the Rwandan prosecution, and by implication, the Rwandan authorities. The Zambian authorities did not/ have not respond to these allegations.
Around the same time, the Zambian Financial Intelligence Centre lays bare a case of terrorism financing that occurred in 2018, with funds flowing from Zambia to a state where terrorism activities are prevalent. The known individuals involved were linked to terrorism groups in that state. The case was transferred to “competent” authorities for further investigation.
DECEMBER 2019 to MAY 2020
In a complex web of transactions, ZCCM forms a joint venture with little known Sudanese investors (Karma Mining) for ZCCM to obtain a minority stake in a gold processing venture. In a transaction that appears to have failed basic due diligence measures, particularly due to Sudan being a known state sponsor of terrorism, as well as appearing of the sanctions list of the USA, UN, EU and UK. The sequence of events behind this transaction implies political connotations, and appears to have been forced onto ZCCM by the political elite.
A further venture was agreed into with Array Metals, who have exploration rights to $400m worth of Gold in Mumbwa. The players behind this group are Ugandans with no previous known gold mining experience. These Ugandans have suspected links to the political elite in Zambia and in Uganda, and officials are known to have business dealings with a UN sanctioned General from South Sudan.
The above two transactions, which leave the Zambian people with minimal benefits, coincidentally appear to be linked through the players and nations involved.
Refer to link for details of this matrix submitted to and ignored by ZCCM
As part of Sankara’s sworn testimony in court, startling new allegations are made, as summarised above.
The PF Government in a series of confused responses initially denies the claims without responding directly as to why the allegations cannot be true.
They then secretly (but exposed by eagle eyed citizens) send Joe Malanji as an envoy of the President to meet with Rwandan authorities. He returns and issues another uncoordinated and non-sensical statement saying that the Rwandans are equally surprised by the allegations, that they are not credible, and that Sankara had never travelled to Zambia. Bilateral relations remain intact.
Joe Malanji’s statements make no sense at all! It does not tally with the Rebel statement. This is why:
1. Sankara never said he traveled to Zambia. He said the people who met the President were Rusesabagina and Appolinaire. These two individuals have irrefutable links to ZAMBIA. Can Malanji deny that these individuals have no Zambian links or have never visited Zambia?
2. The Rwandan prosecutors themselves alleged involvement of players on Zambian soil. How can the Rwandan Government contradict themselves by saying the claims are not credible.
3. Would the Rwandan Government be prejudicial and ignore the court case and allegations to clear Zambia of any involvement before the trail is concluded and judgement is delivered?
4. What incentive would Sankara have to dream about the president’s involvement? How would Sankara even dream about individuals like Appolinaire being in Zambia?
5. Why has the Rwandan Government been mute on the matter? Why have they not issued their own version of the meeting with Malanji or atleast confirmed the Zambian version as accurate?
6. Why has Rwandan media not even reported this meeting and the contents thereof?
7. Rwandan and Ugandan relations are strained. Zambian relations with Uganda are strong, and politically connected individuals between the two countries are involved in Zambian Gold. Is there a connection or is this a coincidence?
8. Why is Zambia sending investigators if there is nothing to worry about? They should simply move on since they claim to have been cleared by the Rwandan Government.
9. Why has Nyamwasa allegedly been allowed free entry into Zambia when he is on Rwanda’s most wanted list?
The reality is that Malanji may have misled the public with his version of events at the meeting with the Rwandan Government.
Sources in the Rwandan Government indicate that the actual discussions vary significantly from what we have been told. Zambia has been told to do more to prove that they were not involved. Hence the Rwandan Government has not yet issued its official position, and hence the panicked dispatch of Malanji to Rwanda.
It is also important to note that Kayumba Nyamwasa, former Rwandan military chief, arch enemy of Paul Kagame, has been allegedly allowed free movement into Zambia despite an arrest warrant. This has been noted by the Rwandan authorities as well and requires explanation.
THE ZAMBIAN PUBLIC
The challenge the people of Zambia have with the current government and leadership is a matter of trust.
Why can’t the government be open and honest with the public so that we remove the need for all this speculation.
If the government was so confident that the matter is a non-issue, as per the tone of the official state house statements, what was the need to sneak out senior officials into Rwanda for discussions.
Even if the president is innocent in this, how can we be confident that one of his many friends and associates has not used the name of the president to commit crimes? We have heard this over and over again from the PF. This is the reason why it is important that the president ensures he surrounds himself with people of good reputation and standing in society.
Why is it that the word “terrorism” keeps popping up in Zambia. First it was the FIC report, then ZCCM Gold Scandal with links to Sudan, a country sanctioned for state sponsored terrorism, as well as Uganda, a country mentioned as part of this plot and now sponsoring of terrorism in Rwanda.
We propose the following:
1. Can the government sue the accuser in the courts of law.
2. Can they ask the Rwandan Government to issue a statement in defence of Zambia and validating the statement made by Malanji? Do they understand the ramifications for this country if there is even a bit of truth in the claims?
3. There is a clear CONFLICT OF INTEREST. The President through his Minister cannot lead investigations into himself for these allegations. Therefore, we propose that a cross member panel/committee to be setup in Parliament to lead the investigations. Parliament shall then hold Government to account should any of the allegations be proven. Failure to allow an independent parliamentary committee to investigate will raise red flags and create mistrust.
The people of Zambia deserve answers and we demand answers now!