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Gemcanton CEO exposed $21million scandal before he was deported – lawyerBy Mukosha Funga on 29 Nov 2017
Lawyers representing the deported CEO of Gemcanton mining limited Eli Nefussy, have written to Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo demanding that their client be returned to Zambia before they sue the State.
A joint team of police and immigration officers yesterday captured Nefussy and forcibly put him on an Ethiopian Airways plane, under a deportation order.
But Nefussy’s lawyer Dickson Jere of Mvunga associates, disclosed in his letter to Kampyongo that the deported investor recently raised an alarm after discovering that his PF-aligned business associate had spent US$21 million without any explanation of how the money was used.
“We are informed by our client that he was abducted on November 28, 2017 by a combined team of security officers who included the immigration officers. They nabbed him from his apartment at the Gemcanton Mine premises in Lufwanyama District in the early hours of the morning. He was kept under incommunicado and not allowed to contact his lawyers or take his medicines for his heart condition. It was only in the afternoon when he was told that he will be deported and taken to the Ethiopian airline flight at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport in Ndola. To date our client has not been told the reasons for his deportation when he held a valid investor permit to work in Zambia,” Jere wrote.
“We wish to bring to your attention the fact that our client had sharp differences with one of the directors at the mine, a Mr Abdoulaye Ndiaye commonly known as ‘Gounasse’ over the management of the mine. Our client who was out of the country for a while and only returned to the mine on the 23rd of November 2017 and immediately discovered unexplained expenditure of over $21 million. He immediately raised alarm and asked for an explanation. However, the following day, Mr Ndiaye wrote a letter asking him to resign from his position as joint CEO under the pretext that he was under investigation by the police.”
He said to the contrary, police had already investigated and cleared Nefussy.
“You may be aware that the Inspector General of Police Mr Kakoma Kanganja did investigate our client of any possible wrong doing and he cleared him through a letter dated 2nd November, 2017. You may wish to know that our client has gone through various forms of intimidation and threats from Mr Ndiaye. For example, our client has always demanded that security guards should be appointed from among Zambians but Mr Ndiaye has opted to employ people from Senegal at great expense to the company.
Currently, there are over 70 heavily armed security guards from Senegal when such jobs can be done by Zambians,” he said.
“Honorable Minister you are at liberty to visit the mine and speak to the workers and their trade union representatives and get the truth of what is going on.”
He demanded that his client should be brought back.
“We therefore write to ask your office to immediately reverse the deportation of our client and allow him to come back and continue working as CEO of the mine. Our client is aware of the so called connections which Mr Ndiaye is claiming to have among government officials but such unbridled allegations only go to tarnish the name of the President and his government, and must be stopped,” said Jere.
“We wait to hear from you within seven days from the date of this letter of we will launch a requisite court action in the High Court of Zambia against the unreasonable deportation of our client.”
About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha Funga is a Zambian journalist interested in good governance and anti corruption reporting.
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