Corruption charges against Wynter

In all fairness the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) owes the people of Zambia an explanation over the clearance Wynter Kabimba.

Wynter is not an ordinary member of the public. He is the Minister of Justice and also Secretary General of  the ruling Patriotic Front Government.

Vague statements about his clearance over alleged corruption will not do. the Nation would like to know the specifics, just as we know the specifics about his colleague GBM who was accused of influencing the award of a contract to  provide poles to Zesco.

To date the ACC has not said what Wynter was cleared of in any categorical terms; people have been left to wonder and taken second guesses.

Two things must be clarified in very clear terms.

Firstly at what point was Wynter interviewed. Our information volunteered by internal operatives is that Wynter was never interviewed. The nearest he came to an interview was the botched, rowdy and totally uncivil proceeding he engineered with local thugs who stormed the ACC offices.

The second and most important issue is the nature of allegation from which he has been cleared.

We have been made to believe that the oil supply contract awarded to Trafigura and his own oil companies Midlands Oil were at the centre of the investigation.

In particular we were made to believe that the investigation centered around the possible influence he may have exerted on  the award to Trafigura which was not the most competitive among the 22 companies that bid to supply oil to Zambia.

Thirdly and equally connected is the establishment of Midland Oil which Wynter owns with Kenya shareholding.

What we would like to know is the reason why Wynter formed this company after serving as Chairman of the of the Energy Regulation Board commission of Inquiry, appointed by President Sata.

Was it by coincidence that Wynter formed an oil marketing company soon after or while serving as Chairman of the ERB probe?

As we have said before these matters need to be answered otherwise protestations by the ACC that they have cleared Wynter will continue to sound hollow. What is required is full disclosure, namely what were the specific allegations being investigated, how were they investigated if indeed no interview was held with Wynter and finally a full and open disclosure of the circumstances under which the oil procurement supply contract was offered to Trafigura.

The issue of Trafigura will not go away because there is too much at stake. An impression was created by Wynter himself that Zambian motorists were paying too much for petroleum products because of corruption. The assumption was that after removing the corrupt element the prices of petroleum products would go lower. Nothing of the sort has happened, a situation that can only lead to one conclusion that the “corrupt” element is still operative.

Add to this the fact that the Government has recently faced difficulties with oil stocks with Trafigura refusing to deliver unless a letter of credit was opened.

These are not the bonafides of a  justifiable, trustworthy and honourable transaction.

The Government has a duty to the people of Zambia to explain these issues and put the matter to rest.