Govt pursues corrupt CEEC Commissioners

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-Government has instituted a forensic study to pursue some corrupt Commissioners who obtained loans from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).


Outgoing Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Bob Sichinga, says the Commissioners in question should pay back the money they got from the Commission because they got on a revolving basis and was not a grant.


Mr Sichinga, who did not name the affected officers for fear of jeopardising the investigations, disclosed this at a press briefing in Lusaka today.


He said the ministry of commerce has involved other stakeholders like the banks and law enforcement wings of the State because the named Commissioners allegedly used up-fronts to pay themselves.


“My ministry has opened a forensic study on CEEC Commissioners who used up-fronts to get loans. We have involved other wings of government and at the moment I will not disclose the names of the corrupt Commissioners because l want justice to prevail and l do not want them to be judged in the media,” Mr Sichinga said.


The minister, who was flanked by his former deputy, Richard Taima and some directors from the ministry, disclosed that debt collection for the Commission has tremendously increased from KR600,000 (K600 million) to KR280,000 (K2.8 billion) from two years ago in 2011.


Mr Sichinga further disclosed that the Commission has lent out KR1.260 million (K1.26bn) to the deserving individuals including corporate organisations.


He added that government has injected KR47 million (K47 bn) to the Commission and additional funds from the 2013 National Budget would be released, totalling an excess KR150 million to the Commission to be disbursed to the Zambian people in form of loans.


Meanwhile, unveiling new top brass Chairpersons for Boards to the media at his Office, namely Zambia Development Agency, ZDA), CEEC, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and Zambia International Trade Fair/Mukuba Hotel, the former Commerce Minister stated that President Michael Sata wants effective and efficient boards that would deliver to the aspirations of the Zambian people.


“Government wants to strengthen the boards that can deliver to the aspirations of the Zambian people. President Sata is very clear on this and he wants hands on oriented programmes to benefit the people,” he said.


Those Chairpersons appointed to serve are Songowayo Zyambo (ZDA) Nonny Mwanyungwi as Vice Chair, Dr Kasuka Mutukwa (CEEC) to be helped by two other Commissioners, Mercy Siame and Prof Herticy Ng’ambi, Lusaka lawyer Kelvin Fube Bwalya (CCPC) and Dr Edgar Ngoma to head ZABS respectively.


Former UPND Mbabala Member of Parliament and renowned Private Consultant, Emmanuel Hachipuka, will Chair the joint composition of ZITF/Mukuba Hotel Board while the Vice is Jane Kabwela.


Others on the boards include commerce Permanent secretary, Stephen Mwansa and his Finance and Copperbelt province counterparts, Pamela Chibonga and Stanford Mschili and ZDA Director General, Andrew Chipwende among others.