FISP PLUNDER & ZAMBIAN PRESIDENTS
We just concluded our investigation on the FISP and why there is failure by the new dawn government to give farmers Umufundo on time until this day.
National Leaks is an emerging site which wants to share in the public domain very important information which some people and institutions want to hide. Realising that the Zambian media space has become too weak and vulnerable to compromise and legal attacks, we opted to remain anonymous for the benefit of Zambians. We are passionate about our work and we are patriots who want the correct things done. You can be assured that when we pick a topic ,there is always public interest.
For some time now FISP has been used as a conduit for thieves to steal from poor Zambians and farmers. But how did we get here?
FISP started during Levy Mwanawasa. He wanted farmers to make maximum use of Zambian land and to achieve this he had to support both commercial wealthy farmers and poor Zambian farmers. Mwanawasa turned around Zambia’s food deficit by playing two cards.
First when he described Zimbabwe as a sinking titanic he managed to lure white commercial farmers from Zimbabwe and had them settled in Mkushi. When you drive around Mkushi you will appreciate Mwanawasa’s efforts. Almost all white commercial farmers there came from Zimbabwe during Mwanawasa’s time. And today Zambia is almost exporting wheat grown by White farmers.
The second card was to support poor and small scale Zambian farmers by providing them with subsidised farming inputs. This programme was introduced to jumpstart small scale farming so that they can graduate into self dependent.
What a brilliant leader he was , for this we remain indebted to Mwanawasa for decades.
Where did it all go wrong?
Mwanawasa had a notorious classmate at UNZA by the name of Gulam Patel who started frequenting statehouses . When Gulam was officially opening International drug company factory in Kabwe he invited his classmate Mwanawasa as guest. Gulam’s elder brother , Mr Ayuub Patel , a man of such integrity and principle that very few if any would match globally , gave a speech telling Mwanawasa that “we do not want after many years when you leave office that someone must say that Mwanawasa was a corrupt leader”.
Little did Ayub know that betrayal was to start from within .Ayumb’s young brother Gulam formed a fertiliser import company with his children as shareholders .Maurice Jangulo was brought in from Omnia , and tenders were filled .
Meanwhile Mwanawasa had asked Gulam to arrange someone from Eastern province to help the MMD at the grassroots because Michael Sata was eating the Bemba bloc and Gulam suggested Rupiah Banda .That is how Rupiah, a UNIPist became vice President in MMD. For picking him from the farm and salvaging him from poverty, Rupiah was ever indebted to Gulam and his family.
When Mwanawasa died all hell broke loose and corruption began. Gulam bankrolled
Rupiah’s presidential bid and after he won, Nyiombo investments started getting contracts , including single sourced ones and at times supplying rotten fertiliser to the government for the FISP distribution. Rupiah knew of this but did not care much because it was pay back time to Gulam and family.
Then Gulam then decided to sell the shares he held in the Post newspaper because Fred M’membe had supported Magande after Mwanawasa died. When Rupiah won, M’membe became anti- Rupiah until MMD lost power to PF of Michael Sata.
When PF won elections all Nyiombo Investment payments were blocked by the state which felt the company was going to finance MMD rebranding because it was too close to Rupiah Banda. At this point Sata feared MMD would bounce back and he was finding ways to kill the former ruling party. He first started strangling businesses believed to have links to Rupiah before he focused on destroying the MMD party by poaching MP into his cabinet and petitioning all seats that were won by MMD.
Sponsored protests against Nyiombo were staged as Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) workers started protests accusing Nyiombo of blocking NCZ from producing fertiliser. That is how Nyiombo was systematically destroyed by Sata administration.
Now Gulam’s nephew Zunaid Yusuf formed his own company called Neria Investment with a lawyer Bokani Soko to disguise its true ownership. At one point, Gulam took Zunaid Yusuf to court over this move but he eventually backed off after his nephew managed to capture the Sata administration.
After the demise of Sata, Bokani Soko hastily pumped a lot of money in EdgarLungu’s presidential bid. This is how Nerias Investment and another new company Nyimba Investment began to share the cake in the supply of fertiliser in Zambia.
For example it is during Edgar Lungu’s tenure that NCZ was supplied with raw materials by Neria with payments of up to $70m made for undelivered materials.
At this point, Maurice Jangulo was kicked out and Nyiombo was liquidated with millions of dollars for foreign companies , foreign banks , local transporters , foreign transporters all lost. Jangulo was warned by Gulam that he would be finished off at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka .
Millions of dollars were lost in inflated prices , undelivered fertiliser though payments collected ,debt swaps made on the same day the Attorney General advised against etc.
Jangulo formed Alpha Commodities and got small contracts under PF and he was secretly bankrolling HH and UPND.
When HH won elections Maurice Jangulo began calling the shots in fertiliser tenders together with another man a Mr Ibrahim. Although there are other suppliers like Agrizam, Alpha commodities is the one at the centre now. Jangulo is the main man calling shots that is why he even managed to get a $50 million dollar single sourced contract to supply fertiliser in the 2021/2022 farming season following an audit which he personally conducted using his proxy firms to punish those who fought him previously.
HH’s administration also has done what Sata did. He flashed out all suppliers under PF and brought in new ones except for Alpha Commodities. The new suppliers are owned by cadres and supporters of UPND but it is Jangulo who decides how much such companies get.
MAURICE JANGULO AUDIT
But in order to legitimize the removal of PF linked suppliers, Jangulo using Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary and some other officials instituted audits to determine if indeed the PF linked suppliers were delivering fertilizer to government for the money they got paid for. Jangulo was doing this knowing very well that Neria Investment would be found wanting since he knows the players very well. As expected the audit revealed what was already known. Bokani Soko who is close to Edgar Lungu often collected payments for goods undelivered and nothing was done by the government because he was seen to be a Lungu guy. Recently Anti Corruption Commission arrested Former Agriculture PS Songowayo Zyambo, former Principal Agricultural Economist Grey Mwale and former Principal Accountant Emmanuel Kabwe as well as Neria Investment owners Bokani Soko , Justin Kasenekwa, Muhammad Zuneid Ismail Yusuf and Nadeem Yusuf over a $131,142,682.65 million payment to Neria Investment by government for undelivered fertilizer.
FISP was intended by Mwanawasa to put food on the plates for every Zambian and not to take away food from people. Unfortunately,all Presidents after him have messed up by involving the supporters and associates in the supply chain.
Right now HH claims they’re adulting FISP as a result that has delayed distribution of umufundo to farmers but the real reason is that UPND has changed suppliers and introduced theirs who have no capacity to supply fertilizer.They will only have capacity when they’re paid money for fertilizer not delivered.
This is how Zambian Presidents are facilitating criminality and taking advantage of poor Zambians using FSIP.
© National Leaks 2022