By OLIVER SAMBOKO
THE alleged Zesco scandal as detailed by Mbita Chitala should be subjected to a Commission of Inquiry to establish how the $3.5 billion debt acquired by the state power utility company was used, says energy expert, Victor Hazemba.
Mr Hazemba said following the damning revelations by the former Zesco board chairperson Dr Chitala in his book “Corporate Capture, the Political Economy of Electricity Management in Zambia 2014-2021, (How Not to Manage a State Enterprise),” it’s important for Government to review all loans acquired by Zesco to ensure the money was used for the intended purpose.
He said the extent of abuse at Zesco as highlighted by Dr Chitala, can only be ascertained through a competent Commission of Inquiry.
Mr Hazemba said there are a number of questions at Zesco that are begging answers such as the alleged maintenance of ghost workers on the payroll, illegal acquisition of vehicles that were allegedly given to a political party towards last year’s general election, among other issues.
He said Dr Chitala is a distinguished person who cannot just wake up and start creating stories that are not true.
Mr Hazemba said the Commission of Inquiry on Zesco will not only help the public to understand what was going on at the parastatal company but also ensure that if indeed there was wrong doing, remedial measures are put in place and those who could have abused the company are brought to account for their deeds.
“The Commission of Inquiry will help the public understand what was going on at Zesco and also if there are crimes that were committed, those involved will be known and followed,” he said.
Mr Hazemba said if indeed the government obtained a loan of US$392 million from China for installation of internet and data facilities under the Smart Zambia and forced the loan on the Zesco books, then it’s possible that many other wrong things happened at the parastatal company.