Oil procurement deal corrupt

The failure by the government to explain how much it had cost the country to procure petrol and diesel for one year is confirmation that corruption was the major factor that drove the oil deal, United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has observed.

He said the PF government was failing to give an elaborate, definitive and conclusive answer to why the country had to pay a colossal sum of $500 million to Trafigura for the procurement of 216 million liters of petrol and 21 million of diesel in one year.

The procurement of fuel under the Patriotic Front (PF) regime has been the worst corruption scandal Zambia has ever witnessed since independence.

Mr Hichilema said those whose hands are soiled with the oil scam shall be made accountable.

He noted that a combination of incompetence and corruption in the procurement of fuel by the PF government had proved to be economically fatal to the country that was already grappling with high levels of poverty and unemployment.

Mr Hichilema said it was now clear that the PF government was the worst corrupt regime that was even failing to hide its corrupt activities by openly giving false statement to Zambians on how much they have looted from the oil deal.

“The PF government has failed to explain why Zambia has the most expensive pump fuel prices in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) because they know that they have robbed Zambia out of what should have been the difference from the US$4500 million paid to Trafigura.

He told the Daily Nation that the PF government has exhibited the highest levels of incompetence by contradicting itself over the $500 million paid to Trafigura in oil deal when the global commanding prices were far below what Zambia spent.

On Tuesday, the government through Minister of Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma told Parliament that it was not true that $500 million was paid to Trafigura for the procurement of 216 million litres of petrol and 21 million of diesel.

“This ironically is a contradiction to a statement by former Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary George Zulu who in September 2012 announced to the nation that government had signed a US$500 million one year contract with Netheland’s multinational commodity trader, Trafigura, for the supply and delivery of finished petroleum products because Zambian investigative wings had cleared the company,” he said But Mr Yaluma forgot that last year his Ministry told the nation that government had awarded a $500 million contract to Trafigura but told Parliament on Tuesday that government only paid $260 million at a fixed cost which according to him was in the bids.

‘This government thrives in directionless and on lies and that is why they have failed to be consistent with their lies on how they corruptly awarded a $500 million contract to Trafigura to supply finished petroleum products.

“The fuel procurement under the PF government has been the worst corruption scandal that has ever hit Zambians and that is why they have failed to give a comprehensive and definitive answer as to why Zambia paid such a colossal sum of money.

They have been lying and now they have been caught in their own snare of lies,” Mr Hichilema said.

Mr Hichilema said the government has started contradicting itself on most of important national issues because its leadership was governing the country by deceit.

He said the PF was not governing the country on truth noting that Zambia was buying fuel at a much higher rate than other countries in the region.

Mr Hichilema observed that the PF fought vigorously to dislodge the MMD primarily to loot the national purse and look after themselves and their families.

He said life has become economically more excruciating under the PF with the continuous increase in prices of basic commodities as a result of the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize.