WHEN you tell one lie, you need to come up with a thousand more lies in order to cover up for the first lie you told. Lying and sustaining lies is a lot of work. The biggest problem with lies is that you have to remember the lies you leave behind so that everything else you say conforms to the first story. Those who speak the truth don’t have the same problem, they don’t need to remember what they said because no matter how many times they are asked, their answer will still be the same.
The facts that have been revealed in the Marcopolo and IDC investigation are a reminder that it is always important to tell the truth. The people who have been implicated in the corruption scandal, both from the IDC side and Marcopolo, have been telling all sorts of lies about what motivated the sale of shares and how the whole transaction was handled.
First of all, it must be noted that the IDC purchase of shares in Marcopolo was kept away from the public until News Diggers exposed the transaction. The reason why this transaction was not brought to the public’s attention was because the people behind it knew that it was dirty and questionable. When we revealed the development and asked IDC to explain how they could spend all that money in a ‘startup’ private company, they contradicted themselves, and in the process of covering up their lies, they told more lies. Even the contract dates that they were talking about were not accurate, we had to remind them that they paid the Chinese investors millions of dollars just two days after the negotiations.
We have said it before that IDC has been turned into a cash cow for the ruling elites; it is a conduit for corruption. What government did in the Marcopolo deal was totally unnecessary. The people who are in charge of that institution are fully aware about the criminality that is going on, but they cannot do anything about it because they are part of the illegal things.
What is worse about IDC is that it is in the hands of dishonest people. Businesses are more efficient when they are managed by a competent and honest leadership who are driven by correct reasons to grow, to create jobs and not to invest tax payer’s money in order to create opportunities for corruption. Unfortunately, IDC has been so abused that now, almost every transaction is laced with corruption.
IDC which is chaired by President Edgar Lungu has its eyes and interests elsewhere. It is not focusing on resuscitating parastatals. The on-going purchase of shares in private companies is motivated by selfish interests and not public interest. We have seen spending of money in parastatals which cannot be justified in an economy under serious difficulties like Zambia. In the case of Marcopolo, we asked some questions; if the private company was so profitable and made all those millions a year, why was it necessary for the government to buy it from the private sector? Which private sector company owner would give away a clear source of wealth? Every time we asked these questions, they lied to the people as if Zambians don’t think.
Well, here we are now. The citizens of this country can now see why the Chinese investors were heard saying Zambians are not ambitious because they are content with little things. Now we know which little things Mr Huang was talking about. The whole dirt at IDC has been laid bare. And the next question to ask is, who will clean up the mess at IDC?
Can President Lungu act against a parastatal where he is the board chairman himself? How can the Head of State provide oversight in a company where he is the senior most? We would like to believe that the IDC board, chaired by President Edgar Lungu, discussed the Marcopolo deal and a go ahead to invest all that money was given. But did they do any due diligence? If such crimes are happening at IDC, who will take responsibility? IDC is a problem for President Lungu.
Anyway, we are challenging the IDC and Marcopolo to sue us over the investigation we have carried out and the crimes that we have exposed so that the people of Zambia can have a chance to see for themselves what transpired behind the scenes. The taxpayers deserve to know how their money is moved from state coffers into private pockets of individuals who have connections in government. We are ready!