Dangote dares Shamenda

DANGOTE Industries Zambia Limited (DIZ) has welcomed Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda’s statement that he has reported a Dangote company official to the Anti-Corruption Commission for allegedly attempting to bribe him.

Dangote chief executive officer for East and Southern Africa, Albert Corcos said through DIZ’s lawyers, Theotis, Mataka and Sampa Legal Practitioners: “We reserve our right on this matter and remain resolute in denying that the incident that resulted in these malicious accusations took place as alleged by the honourable Minister.”

Mr Corcos said Dangote being one of the most diversified conglomerates in Africa with a hard earned reputation of excellent business practice and products, would not allow such mischievous reports to tarnish its reputation and good standing in Zambia and indeed on the continent.

He said Dangote had the strongest support for the investigative process and was fully committed to co-operating with the ACC.

Mr Corcos assured that DIZ would comply with the ACC requests, and that they were also willing to provide documented information to prove the malicious intent to bring Dangote into disrepute.

Mr Corcos said Dangote would not be deterred and remained firmly committed to working with the government of Zambia to deliver on its commitment to complete the cement plant in which DIZ has invested over US$400 million.

“We fully appreciate the benefits that will accrue to Zambia, including employment opportunities, diversification of the economy beyond mineral resources such as copper and the broader infrastructure investment from our operating activities in Ndola,” he said.

DIZ is a subsidiary of Dangote Cement Plc, the largest listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with market capitalization of over $24 billion.

And political activist Dante Saunders has advised Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda to concentrate on revamping the government owned institutions and stop interfering with the private sector in the country.

Mr Saunders wondered why Mr Shamenda as a government minister did not report the alleged bribe offer to the ACC in the first place.

He said the government had numerous pressing issues that should be addressed and that the situation in which it interfered with the private sector was working to the disadvantage of the country to attract investors.

Mr Saunders advised the private institutions to resist attempts by Government to interfere in their operations.

He said government officials should be mindful when dealing with private institutions, adding that some statements would appear irrelevant but could dent the country’s image.

“You cannot start finger-pointing when you are also failing your workers. Mr Shamenda must address the plight of all workers,” Mr Saunders said.

Mr Shamenda has reported Dangote Industries Zambia Limited to the ACC for alleged attempt to bribe him after the cement company denied the allegations of inducement.

He said he had decided to inform the ACC about how Dangote Industries human resources manager Bala Zango tried to corrupt him by offering him dinner at Intercontinental Hotel recently.

ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said yesterday the commission had taken interest in the matter and was currently studying the allegation to determine the way forward.  Mr Moono encouraged members of the public to report all cases of suspected corrupt practices directly to the ACC.

“I wish to state that the commission has taken interest in the matter and is currently studying the same in order to determine the way forward.

I further wish to encourage members of the public to report all cases of alleged or suspected corrupt practices directly to the Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.