By AARON CHIYANZO
OVER US$51 million pension funds illegally invested outside the country should immediately be repatriated to Zambia, Citizens Democratic Party (CDP) president Robert Mwanza has demanded.
It was on confidential records that a named company had externalised vast sums of money to invest in property and speculation against the laws of the country.
Mr Mwanza said the massive illegal externalisation of money had impacted negatively on the economy when it was supposed to benefit Zambians.
He said in an interview that offshore investments of pension funds were done illegally and do not benefit the owners of the funds.
“Zambian pension funds have mostly been abused to escape detection. We are aware that pension funds have been used as a conduit through which millions of dollars have been externalised out of the country at the expense of local development and security of pension scheme members,” said Mr Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said Government should ensure that all the funds that had been invested outside the country were brought back.
He said over US$51 million had been invested outside Zambia while millions were also stashed in offshore accounts.
“The illegal externalisation of money from Zambian pension schemes has been ongoing for a long time denying the country much-needed capital for national development,” said Mr Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said pensions were designed to be a social safety net for retirees so that governments do not have to spend money caring for retired people.
He said that apart from putting the lives of pensioners at risk, the illegal externalisation of money could also affect the performance of the local currency.
Mr Mwanza urged Government to ensure that all people behind the scourge were brought to book.
“What is funny is that even companies owned by some politicians who want to rule this country are involved in this scam. So there is no patriotism there, it’s a sign that some people we cannot trust them with our country,” he said.
By AARON CHIYANZO