A Lusaka business woman Dr. Matilda Mutale Malarius has challenged ZESCO Managing Director Cyprian Chitundu to make public the findings of the government Joint Investigation Wings on the abuse and plunder of national resources at the power utility.
Dr. Mutale said it did not make sense that Mr. Chitundu during his press briefing held 31th August 2012 suggested that all matters of plunder of national resources at the institution would be dealt quietly when the matter was being handled by the joint government investigative security wings at the old Task Force on Corruption.
Dr. Mutale said it was uncalled for Zesco management want to hide the findings when colossal sums of money had been used in the exercise.
“This is surprising to any all well meaning Zambians. According to Mr. Chitundu he seconded Stanley Kasula to the Task Force on Corruption so that wrongful acts by some Directors and managers at the company account for their misdeeds. We are surprised why Mr. Chitundu has changed now to start siding with the suspect mentioned in the report which he wants to handle quietly,” Dr. Mutale said.
She said that it was shocking that Zesco management were eager to sweep the findings under the carpet when it was also public knowledge that company was under-going financial difficulties as a result of dishonest conduct by some directors and senior managers mentioned in the report.
Dr. Mutale wondered why Mr. Chitundu was not comfortable to allow the rule of law apply on the matter when other people had already lost jobs over the same investigations of plunder of national resources.
She said it was unfortunate that Zesco management decided to embarrass Mr. Kasula when it was supposed to tell the nation when those implicated in the abuse and plunder of over K4 billion would go to court.
“Could it be that Zesco management is trying to protect itself from future consequences of the actions of some senior managers and directors? Is it not most likely, the Auditor General’s report has to some extent cited management of abuse of resources and failure to account for such monies?” she wondered.
Dr. Mutale also said that there was no justification by Zesco to increase tariffs if it failed to deal with the matter involving over K4 billion which was allegedly misapplied.
She questioned Zesco management to explain the procurement of 19 vehicles worth more than K3 billion for senior managers last year, illegally, against conditions of service and without approval of the Zesco board.
Dr. Mutale also wondered what action Mr. Chitundu had taken to deal with the K4.2 billion expenditure on talk time for managers and directors.
“The 2009 Auditor’s report about Zesco revealed an expenditure of about K4.2 billion on talk time for managers, senior managers and directors including the Managing Director himself was a beneficiary. Could it be the reason why Mr. Chitundu wants to deal with this matter quietly? What the people of Zambia want is to see the truth come out about Zesco especially this time around when they are planning to increase electricity tariffs,” she said.
She said Zesco can only win public confidence if serious measures were taken to mop the dirty swept under the carpet by the current management at the institution.