THE Patriotic Front (PF) says it will launch investigations into the operations of its company, Ilunda Chalo Investment Limited, to ascertain the ruling party’s assets, secretary-general Edgar Lungu has said.
And some PF Members of Parliament have demanded that Mr Lungu clarifies whether his predecessor Wynter Kabimba has withdrawn his shareholding in Ilunda Chalo.
Mr Lungu told the Daily Nation yesterday that the PF would follow up on Ilunda Chalo business activities as the company was expected to generate income for the party.
He said PF members would be invited to submit comments on the operations of the ruling party’s company.
Mr Lungu explained that the concerns raised by some party members over the running of the Ilunda Chalo were genuine and there was need for more to be done as the party was meant to make profit for the party and also create employment for the youth.
“Yes, the party has a company we shall make a follow-up and we would like to advise our members who have information regarding the company to come up and help us build it. Mr Kabimba was a shareholder because he was the secretary general of the party and we are expected to do the formalities,” he said.
But the MPs who sought anonymity said they were expecting to hear that the former secretary general was not one of the shareholders of the company.
Ilunda Chalo is a PF company formed after the party formed government in 2011 whose shareholders are President Michael Sata, Wynter Kabimba and Imran Merchant an Indian businessman.
The PF members of Parliament demanded that Mr Kabimba should hand over Ilunda Chalo’s documents to Mr Lungu.
They said the company was involved in construction, supply, engineering and agriculture services and that they were aware that some contracts were awarded to the company.
The PF members said it was unfortunate that Mr Kabimba had kept all the information to himself about the running of the company.
“As far as we are concerned, the former party chief executive has not handed over the notes on the company to Mr Lungu. We would like the company to be audited so that we know where the new SG is taking over from and because there was lack of truth about the company. Most Cabinet ministers did not even have a say in it,” said one of the MPs.
The officials said they would not stop demanding information on the company because there were so many party members who were waiting to be employed in the company.
Investigations by the Daily Nation revealed that Mr Imran Merchant first came to Zambia in June 2012 with the help of some Zambians with whom he was to operate the PF company.
However, the business relationship with PF did not work and they parted company.
Mr Merchant worked for Dharni Sampda Pvt. Ltd in Mumbai India and he came to work for a company known as Taurian Manganese which was incorporated in 2010 and started its operations on November 20th 2010 in Luapula Province.
Further investigations by the Nation have revealed that Mr Merchant has since moved from Mambilima Road in Rhodes Park to Mass Media Housing Complex off Thabo Mbeki road in Lusaka.
Mr Merchant had associated himself with people at the top and for them it was not surprising that he found himself as a foreigner to be one of the shareholders in Ilunda Chalo Ltd.
The source however said this development was sad because the two senior party officials did not tell other party members the truth.