Governance activist Brebner Changala says the Industrial Development Corporation needs to be overhauled to curtail the loss-making deals that the holding company has approved over the years.
And Changala says President Edgar Lungu will be arrested when he leaves office because of the raw deals that the IDC has made under his chairmanship.
In an interview, Changala said a new management that has the interest of Zambians at heart should be ushered in at IDC to revamp the loss-making parastatals and ensure that the deals made in future are profitable to all.
“We are living under strange times in the Patriotic Front government. The deals that the IDC is making behind closed doors are actually frightening for a holding company. IDC is a holding company for state owned enterprises and most of these state-owned enterprises are loss making. When we talk about Zesco, when we talk about ZAFFICO, one will talk about Zampost, one will talk about Zamtel, these are loss making state enterprise. They are highly mismanaged institutions because they are run on political patronage. And you would think IDC intends to make a difference and invest in companies that will make a profit for a change but no. They should show the evaluation report. And because of this political patronage, and no wonder IDC is going round and buying companies without the full knowledge of the one, the people of Zambia, secondly without full disclosure to parliament,” he said.
“They are buying companies which are obscure which only make a name the moment they are purchased by IDC. And the chairperson of the IDC who is the republican President is equally a suspect in that he was elected to protect and uphold the interest of the people of Zambia. And he is the first person to engineer deals that are suspicious. We have bought shares in Marcopolo yet Zambians do not even have an idea of what is happening and yet colossal monies have exchanged hands to purchase the shares. And we don’t know whether any due diligence was done. And knowing very well when they are buying these companies that they don’t have managerial skills. They don’t even have an idea. Most importantly Marcopolo tiles is not even their concept. And the director general including the chairperson who doesn’t want to talk to the public but he is doing things on behalf of the public.”
And Changala said President Lungu will face the wrath of the law when he leaves office for the raw deals the IDC made during his reign.
“This chairman is irresponsible and one day he will be arrested. The entire management at IDC needs to be overhauled because they have proved that they are incapable of making good deals for Zambia. Deals that will make the Zambians win. The IDC chairman, Edgar Lungu and the others at IDC have been running the country in a way that makes it look like Zambia is a kantemba where they can make deals as and when they feel like. As Brebner Changala, before the exposure by News Diggers, I never knew of Marcopolo. And yet I am in business, and yet I am enlightened, and yet I am in Lusaka where all these cases are happening, what more about the person in Chipata? How much have they swindled the people in Chipata? I plead with President Lungu that can he put a stop to these clandestine business operations,” said Changala.
“President Edgar has never been a business man in the first place and secondly, there are no parastatals that are functioning properly due to political interference. And he cannot go on and add another loss-making enterprise will not be accepted. He must do things that are in favour and in tandem with national development. President Lungu must address that nation so that we hear the exact position on the matter. And he must declare the benefits and interests that will accrue to the people of Zambia. And he must explain why he is buying shares elsewhere when Zamtel and other parastatals are failing to generate profit.”