Nkombo takes alleged Zesco-PF funding to Parliament

Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has asked Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo to file in a written question in order to get answers on the alleged release of K10 million by ZESCO to PF Secretary General Davies Mwila.

This was in response to Nkombo’s point of order, Wednesday, in which he sought the Speaker’s ruling on whether or not the executive was in order to be seated quietly when state owned enterprises like ZESCO were being abused by the PF to siphon public resources.

“One of the major responsibilities of this House is appropriating resources for the republic and also to provide check and balances on the performance of government. Mr Speaker, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation is a state owned enterprise whose conduct of business must benefit the entire nation. Mr Speaker, this morning I was woken up to a rude shock because of the revelation of the disbursement of money in the sum of K3 million from the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation under the hand of one Mr Saidi Chimya, Director of Finance to the Patriotic Front political party. In my hands Mr Speaker, I am in possession of a letter that bears the emblem of ZESCO in form of an internal memorandum from the Director of Finance to the Managing Director of the same corporation labelled confidential,” Nkombo said in his point of order.

“With your permission sir, allow me to read the contents of this letter. The letter is dated 13th March 2019 which is just a week ago, and it reads and I quote “Reference: Release of funds, date 13th March 2019. Subject matter: release of K10 million as per request. I write to inform you that my office has released a sum of K3 million to the honourable Davies Mwila as of today. We have been unable to release the whole requested amount as per instruction due to circumstances beyond our control. When the request came, the monthly expenditure budget had already been drawn up, as such we were unable to make available the whole amount as requested. The K3 million was delivered from the contingent budget. However, my office communicated and agreed with Honorable Mwila on the remaining K7 million that it shall be made available next week on Tuesday 19th March 2019. Regards, Saidi Chimya”, under his signature.”

Nkombo said the alleged abuse vindicated what the opposition had always lamented about.

“Mr Speaker, we have been lamenting over and over again. I will lay this on the table when I finish with my point of order, about the frequencies of unnecessary by-elections. We have been lamenting over and over about the obscure nature of conduct of business by PF on parastatals which includes using of their equipment such as motor vehicles in by-elections to disadvantage competing parties in these activities. This point of order is on the Minister of Energy as well as the Minister of Finance and also the leader of government business her Honour the Vice President as to whether government that is run by people on behalf of the many Zambian people under a multi-party democratic dispensation, in order to continue abusing state owned enterprises by way of siphoning money for whatever purposes which we think is for by-elections in this manner. I seek your ruling sir,” said Nkombo.

And in his ruling, Dr Matibini asked Nkombo to file in a written question.

“My ruling is that in order to respond adequately to these matters that you have alleged, it is important that you reduce your inquiry in form of a question so that we may direct it to the appropriate Arm of Government. That is my ruling,” ruled Dr Matibini.

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