Zambia’s former President Frederick Chiluba is expected to report to the headquarters of the anti-corruption task force to explain fresh allegations of corruption today (Thursday). This comes after the anti-corruption task force summoned the former president to explain the loss of more than 24-million dollars earmarked for the importation of maize when he was president. The task force alleges that the former president was deeply involved in the transaction with a Canadian company to supply maize, which the company never delivered.
But Chiluba denied any wrongdoing, claiming that his administration did all it could to recover the money. Chiluba spokesman Emmanuel Mwamba tells reporter Peter Clottey that although the charges are politically motivated former President Chiluba will cooperate fully with the anti-corruption task force.
“He is very surprised by this fresh call up by the task force on corruption. You are aware that he (Chiluba) just came back from his medicals from South Africa just the other day. And only to be greeted by this call up that they wish to find out from him the amount of money they are investigating over this commercial transaction over some Canadian firm that was supplying maize to this country,” Mwamba pointed out.
He said the former president’s administration tried to get back the monies that were lost during the transaction.
“He (Chiluba) is surprised because his government took action to attempt to recover that money. There is even a standing judgment in favor of the Zambian government instituted and obtained by Dr. Chiluba’s government in 1999 in the London arbitration court. So he is surprised that they are beginning to lay charges against him over a matter that he vigorously pursued to recover such monies ” he said.
Mwamba described as unfortunate the new charges being leveled against the former president.
“It is regrettable. You know a president has many functionaries. He has several ministries, and although it’s an active presidency, many people do these jobs and make independent and autonomous decisions. For example for the importations of commodities like oil, and maize, these decision are made in various and particular ministries. He is surprised that everything that happened under his administration is being questioned and being thrown at him where they are making as if the system was rotten. No it wasn’t. If he says he runs a perfect system, of course there would be this and that once in a while like every government across the world. But you really can’t be liable and accountable for every action and business transaction that either succeeded or failed,” Mwamba noted.
He said the former president is ever ready to cooperate with the anti-corruption task force to ensure that any confusion is clarified.
“Dr. Chiluba has always made himself available. For every call they have made, he has made himself available. If they want him in court, at the police station and at the offices, he has always made himself available. So he will dutifully appear before their panel of investigators,” he said.