AN Investigation has linked President Edgar Lungu to a Belarusian businessman and oligarch, Alexander Zingman who, according to the Business News Line publication of March 25, 2020, is associated with questionable deals between Russian dealers and African countries.

Photographs have now emerged of President Lungu, Defence Permanent Secretary Sturdy Mwale, Zambia Air Force Commander Lt Gen David Muma and Military Attaché at the Zambian Embassy in Moscow, Robert Kampachi, with the said Belarusian businessman.

On one of the photographs, Zingman holds the shoulders of Air Force Commander Muma and PS Mwale next to Lusaka businessman Valden Findlay and Kampachi.

Information gathered indicates that Zingman brokered a meeting between President Lungu and Alexander Mikheev, President of Rosoboronexport, which is the sole state intermediary agency for Russia’s exports/imports of defence-related products, technologies and services.

Although he operates under the radar, Alexander Zingman is reported to be a valuable chain in the relations between Zambia and East Europe, and is believed to have brokered the procurement of helicopters from Russia and the contract for the supply of Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircrafts.

According to an investigation, Zingman is an influential Belarusian businessman who operates behind the scenes, and holder of both American and Zimbabwean citizenships. He is believed to be working with African governments, including Zambia, in brokering opaque deals with Russian companies.

On paper, Zingman’s name is associated with the fashionable restaurant Falcone in Minsk, Belarus and resides in Raubichi and owns several properties there. His partner, Elizaveta Denisevich, and son, Denis Zingman, are running the family business. Zingman’s private jet is reported to have frequently flown to and from the shelters of African countries, carrying on board government leaders and businessmen.

And the Business News Line reports that the plane is said to have links with Moscow-based Russian company Smart Jet Aviation in three different company registries: Russia, Cyprus and the Virgin Islands. According to its flights’ history, in March 2018 the plane went from the renowned offshore tax shelter island of Jersey to Burkina Faso, then to Zimbabwe, again to Burkina Faso and then to Egypt, Latvia and Belarus. One passenger was present in all cases – lowkey Belarussian businessman Alexander Zingman.

In January 2019 Zingman was announced Zimbabwe’s Honorary Consul in Belarus, and made 6 flights to Harare in 4 months between March-July 2018. In March 2018, Zimbabwe and Belarus signed millions of dollars worth of deals across various economic sectors, including agriculture and forestry equipment, mining and transportation.