United Progressive People president Saviour Chishimba says he is in possession of video and audio evidence of how some ZRA and government officials met with corrupt Chinese officials before granting them a tender to install an Invoicing Management System.

And Chishimba says his party is in possession of heaps of evidence of how Chinese contractors have been awarded tenders far below the project cost.

In a statement today, Chishimba challenged the ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda to address the issues he raised in his expose last week.

“We are shocked that the Commissioner General’s response was flooded with information on how the tender was advertised for many weeks to show that there was no corruption. It is common sense that advertising a tender does not make it corruption-free. Moreover, UPP did not apply for a lecture on how tendering is done from the ZRA! We have in our possession, audio, video and documentary evidence of how some ZRA and government officials met with the corrupt Chinese in order to give them tips on the whole project in exchange for cash to power their personal pockets. We don’t talk amiss!” Chishimba said.

Chishimba urged Chanda not defend corruption.

“We want to sternly warn Mr Kingsley Chanda against being the defender of corruption as shown in his response. We seize this opportunity to advise the Commissioner General to desist from pontifications that make ZRA to sound like a political entity and he must know that this matter is about corruption prevention, which is everyone’s business. Thus, we don’t expect ZRA to denigrate the UPP leadership over a credible matter of national interest. This is a very serious matter, which should not be taken lightly through a simplistic response that has failed to address the core issues,” Chishimba said.

Chishimba however thanked the ZRA Commissioner General for confirming that the awarding of a tender to the two Chinese firms for an Invoicing Management System was not above board.

“We sincerely thank Mr Kingsley Chanda, the ZRA Commissioner General, for confirming that the award of the tender to the Chinese Righlux and Inspur was not above board as evidenced by the appeal that some of the bidders have made against the decision of the tender committee,” he said.

“President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has urged all Zambians to be patriotic and our resolve to end all forms of corruption is an act of patriotism. Therefore, we are thunderstruck that the ZRA Commissioner General deliberately failed to address his mind to our concern on choosing a company that does not have a successful project in Africa against which to benchmark. UPP warned ZRA, in the interest of the nation, against choosing Inspur which has lamentably failed to deliver in the neighbouring Zimbabwe due to massive corruption and monopolisation of the supply of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs). Our questions to ZRA are, ‘are you not aware of the suspensions of senior directors of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) due to corruption in the award of the tender to Inspur? Are you not aware that Inspur has failed to deliver as evidenced by technical bottlenecks, which have resulted in massive revenue leakages in Zimbabwe?’ These are the two basic questions that ZRA must answer and let the people of Zambia know.”

And Chishimba stated that his party was in possession of heaps of evidence implicating Chinese contractors.

“UPP has a heap of evidence in which Chinese contractors have been awarded contracts before at amounts that are far below the project cost and immediately they are awarded the tenders and works commerce, they (contractors) invoke clauses that allow for renegotiations and in the end the contract prices triple. This formula, under the PF-MMD regime is meant to disadvantage many deserving Zambian companies at the bidding stage,” Chishimba stated.

He said the Zambian economy must not be exposed to saboteurs.

“Accordingly, we are dispatching a letter to the Zambia State Intelligence Security Service today. We shall notify the service about the security issues that we have gathered. UPP will not allow anything that threatens the security of the nation we love. The intelligence service is the people’s organisation which must be supported by all. Intelligence officers, who are not well taken care of in Zambia, must be motivated through better pay and more funding for appropriate plant and equipment. Our fragile economy must not be exposed to saboteurs of any kind and we urge the government to put Zambia first before personal pockets,” stated Chishimba who also asked President Lungu to take keen interest in the intelligence service.