Trafigura oil deal must be audited – Tayali

A private initiative to commission an intensive forensic audit into the Trafigura oil procurement contract must be commenced, Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali has demanded.

Tayali said there is need for government to order an immediate audit of the oil procurement deals currently in existence especially those involving Trafigura.

Tayali said there has been no clear picture of the procurement process of the oil deals in contention and government has continued to remain silent over the matter involving its ministers and the use of public funds.

“It is about time we took a more radical approach to these oil issues concerning government and the use of public funds. We are looking at taking the matter to the Courts to help us compel the government to carry out an audit of the dealings and all matters surrounding it,” he said.

He explained that many concerns have been raised but remain unanswered about Trafigura and its dealings with the Patriotic Front (PF) government.

Tayali said the allegations that Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba and his Midlands Energy Zambia were linked to the Trafigura oil deal were still unclear as there was no official report or explanation given to the people.

He said the Zambian Voice was already making consultations with legal experts on what course of action could be taken to demand for an audit of the current government’s oil procurement procedures for the sake of public interest.

Tayali charged that there had been too much talk over the government oil procurement and that it was about time some action was taken to help put the matter to rest.

Trafigura had been awarded multi-billion Kwacha contracts to supply Zambia with petroleum products for two years, although it was not among the best bidders.

Late Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kennedy Sakeni was quoted in the media as saying Trafigura was the most reputable company because it had acquired BP Oil which was operating in the country as Puma Zambia Limited.

Last year, government issued conflicting statements on how much it cost the country to procure 216 million litres of oil from Trafigura