By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE arrest of self-appointed directors of Ultimate Insurance in connection with fraudulent ultering of documents has exonerated us from our long-held view that something is amiss at the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA), says Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma.
On Wednesday, police warned and cautioned Tobias Milambo (47) of Woodlands, Nachi Musonda (33) of Chongwe and Richard Lubemba (31) of Chalala for forgery and uttering of false documents.
The trio was also being investigated for giving false information to a public officer and making of false documents without authority.
The three, are all directors at Marshlands Consortium Ltd, and were alleged to have forged documents and appointed themselves as directors of Ultimate Insurance.
But speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Musoma, said he had been vindicated over his misgivings over the way the PIA has been operating.
He said there was no way the three could have forged documents without the authority knowing.
He said from the way the Saturnia Regna Pension Fund scandal was handled, most Zambians had felt betrayed and that the current scenario seemed to deepen their fears.
“The question is how did the trio manage to forge documents without PIA knowing? At what point did PIA know what was happening and what was their response?” Mr. Musoma asked.
But PIA Registrar and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Mapani yesterday refuted allegations of fraud in connection with Ultimate Insurance Company Limited.
Mr. Mapani denied any fraud or criminal conduct in the renewal of Ultimate Insurance Limited 2020 licence. He said like any other insurer licensed by PIA, Ultimate Insurance Limited applied for the renewal of the 2020 licence and upon consideration of the set requirements, the licence was issued.
He said since becoming aware of the disputes between the shareholders of Ultimate Insurance Limited following his appointment in October 2019, the authority’s focus has been to protect the interests of policy holders and attempting to resolve the issues in dispute to the extent possible, having regard to the fact that they are in court and therefore potentially contemptuous.
He said with regards to protection of policy holders, the authority had been closely monitoring the company’s affairs.
“To this end, the authority recently concluded an inspection of the company to assess its financial soundness, among other issues.
“The inspection revealed that although the company remains financially sound, there were some gaps in the governance structure. Directives have since been issued to the company to address these lapses,” Mr. Mapani said.
He said PIA welcomed investigations aimed at ascertaining whether it was involved in any wrong-doing by the police.
“The public is already aware that the police is investigating the matter, including whether there has been any wrongdoing on the part of the authority in the renewal of the 2020 licence.
“The Authority welcomes the investigations and has been fully cooperating with the police,” he said.
By BENNIE MUNDANDO