UPP leader Saviour Chishimba has given ZRA a seven day ultimatum to cancel a K140 million tender it awarded to Chinese companies for an Invoicing Management System.

In a statement issued today, Chishimba said he has undeniable evidence that the tender was dubiously awarded and that the contract price was inflated.

“The latest corrupt practice on the K140 milllion (US$14 million) fiscalisation project under the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is another clear case of how public officers are conniving with bogus Chinese investors to plunder public resources. We in the UPP have indisputable evidence on how the Chinese have been dubiously awarded the tender for the design, supply, delivery, installation, supervision, configuration, testing and commissioning of an Invoicing Management System (Electronic Fiscal Devices),” Chishimba said.

Chishimba asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to monitor the whole process.

“While the proposed contract price by the Chinese company called Righlux Services and Inspur Group (Joint Venture) is K84, 017, 576.10, the total funding for the project is K140 million. Therefore, this whole amount would end up being committed to the project in line with the practice, under the PF-MMD regime, of inflating contract prices during final negotiations with contractors,” he said.

Chishimba said the Chinese company in question was not credible because it was associated with corrupt practices in Zimbabwe last year.

“The UPP Intelligence Unit has done due diligence, which reveals that the chosen Chinese company failed to deliver under the fiscalisation project of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). ZIMRA suspended its senior officials in December 2016 over the corrupt practices associated with Inspur,” Chishimba disclosed.

“Worse enough, the prices that Inspur sold the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) to business houses in Zimbabwe was more than triple the normal market price. The EFDs were as high as US$1, 700. In addition to the high cost of EFDs, the whole project was tardy and associated with numerous technical bottlenecks which resulted in high revenue leakages in Zimbabwe…We give ZRA a seven day ultimatum to cancel the tender and re-evaluate the bids.”

He said he would not allow Zambians to be put at the mercy of Chinese companies.

“With this overwhelming evidence before us, it is insane and foolish on the part of ZRA to pay a blind eye to the rot driven by Inspur in Zimbabwe and decide to recycle corruption in Zambia. Enough is enough! The Zambia Revenue Authority must take note that it occupies a sacred position of collecting taxes on behalf of the people of Zambia. Simply put, ZRA is the financial soul of the nation and we in the UPP do not expect acts of plunder by the authority,” said Chishimba.

“Zambian businesses are already facing liquidity problems because of the high cost of doing business and corruption. All public contracts have now become a special preserve of the Chinese, Ministers and the Presidency. UPP shall not allow Zambian businesses to be subjected to the fiscalisation project which will put them at the mercy of the corrupt Chinese who would certainly supply defective EFDs at a very high cost as evidenced by the Zimbabwe case.”

The UPP leader recently launched a UPP #BringBackOurMoney! campaign which has so far covered: solicitation for the appointment of a tribunal to probe Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya over the K345 million maize gate scandal and K1.23 billion financial scandals NAPSA among other issues.

Chishimba said the dossiers before his party showed that unless Zambians united to fight corruption, the future was bleak.