I commend govt for recovering $24 million from Milingo Lungu…but I do have several questions about this deal- Sishuwa Sishuwa


By Sishuwa Sishuwa

Lungu and the $24 million payment

I commend the government for recovering – through an out of court settlement – $24 million from former Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu. However, I do have several questions about this deal.

First, how much did Milingo Lungu take out of KCM altogether from which the $24m has been recovered? If there has never been a full audit to establish how much money he got from the company he was appointed to liquidate, can the government explain why. The sum of $24m may look like a lot of money, but if it has been taken out of $300m, for instance, it is peanuts. There are credible reports that Milingo Lungu was found with $60m in various banks within Zambia alone. How has this amount come down to $24m? Where is the $36m difference? Can the government explain, please.

Second, since the Hichilema administration simply replaced Milingo Lungu with its own provisional liquidator, Celine Meena Nair, how do we establish with certainty that Nair did not extract similarly huge sums of money from KCM the same way her predecessor was doing? Yes, KCM has since been handed back to Vedanta Resources Ltd, but Nair had hitherto served as KCM provisional liquidator for nearly two years, having been appointed to the role on 9 May 2022. Nothing structurally – in terms of the weaknesses that enabled Milingo Lungu to extract such large sums of money from KCM – had fundamentally changed during her tenure. How much was the substitute liquidator being paid? What were her terms of engagement? Can the government publish the contract she was given? Or are we to wait until after a change of government before we establish the possible plunder that may have occurred under the substitute liquidator?

Third, what is the fate of the senior government officials that Milingo Lungu had named in court – in a matter that has since been discontinued to pave the way for this out of court settlement – as those with whom he had cut a deal in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution? In April 2022, Milingo Lungu told the Constitutional Court that he had evidence of how he cut a deal to stop his prosecution with key State actors namely Principal Private Secretary to the President Bradford Machila, Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, Solicitor General Marshal Muchende, Director of Public Prosecutions Lillian Fulata Siyunyi, Special Assistant to the President for Legal Affairs Christopher Mundia and Administrator General and Official Receiver Natasha Kalimukwa.

Was this $24m deal cut to prevent Milingo Lungu from presenting this evidence – reported to be recordings of his meetings with the named State officials – before court to protect the implicated officers? And who presided over this latest deal? If it was the Attorney General’s chambers, was the government not short-changed – assuming Milingo Lungu had more money than the amount forfeited – given that Kabesha and Muchende had both been named as among the officers who had cut an earlier deal with him in exchange for immunity from prosecution? If this deal with Milingo Lungu was, as reported, done by Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Director General Nason Banda, can Banda swear that $24m is all the money they found on the former KCM provisional liquidator? And did the naming of State House and government officials who were involved in the earlier deal have a bearing on this settlement? In other words, how much pressure was exerted or put on Banda, if any, to agree to this deal considering the powerful positions of the people that were named by Milingo Lungu as the architects of his immunity deal and who may have had much to lose if the court case had gone to an open trial?

Fourth, what exactly are the terms of the government’s out of court settlement with Milingo Lungu? Can the alleged consent agreement be published in the name of transparency and public interest so that Zambians – in whose name the deal was supposedly cut – may find answers to some of the questions that arise from the deal? For example, what did the State pledge to Milingo Lungu in return for the latter agreeing to forfeit this money that had he had all along claimed was lawfully earned as part of the contract he had signed with KCM? Did Milingo Lungu agree to surrender this money without admitting criminality? If he has been allowed to walk away without a formal record of criminal conviction, what stops Milingo Lungu from being appointed as provisional liquidator of another state entity in future? If he has admitted criminality, what next? Will he go to prison? Or are we seeing the creation of a two-tier justice system in Zambia: one where VIP criminals get away with the plunder of public resources, provided they pay back a portion of the loot, and another where ordinary Zambians are sent to prison for misdemeanours such as stealing a chicken or a bag of mealie meal?

Fifth, did the government ask Milingo Lungu to declare all his assets? If he has not been asked to do so, why? If he has, where can the public find this evidence? It is said that Milingo Lungu is a wealthy man. The public deserves to know if this is true, and, if it is, how this wealth was acquired, whether it was legitimately earned, and if he became wealthy after or before he became KCM provisional liquidator. And while we are here, when will President Hichilema and his presidential aides publish their assets and declarations? There are credible reports of a very senior official in the presidency who recently secretly opened three bank accounts for their children and wife in the UK, and two other officials who did the same in South Africa. There is nothing wrong with opening offshore accounts, provided the money that is ending in these accounts is earned from legitimate income and the concerned public officials can explain how they earned it – when the time comes! For now, all that we need from President Hichilema, his aides, and other public officials, is for them to publicly declare their assets and liabilities. That is all. Can they please do this if they have nothing to hide? This kind of transparency is very important to the fight against corruption. Tasila Lungu, who served as a councillor under the Patriotic Front, has been made to account for differences between her actual income and declared assets when the father was in office, but this is only possible because she declared her assets, which were also published. How are we going to know if President Hichilema and his aides are looting public funds – directly or indirectly as enablers – when they have not publicly declared their assets and liabilities?


  1. In Zambia, it pays to steal and to be corrupt. All you have to do is forfeit a small amount to the state, and keep the rest. I am sure the current administration will still as much as possible, knowing they will only ever have to return a small fraction, and never ever see the inside of jail.

    This is not the Zambia we wanted when we voted for change in 2021.

    Vote very wisely in 2026.

  2. The appropriate question you need to ask Sir is how did this happen under the watch of those you seem to protect? What is the relationship with the former head of state and govt? Is it possible that this man can take out so much and the boss does not know?

  3. Dr. Sishuwa has raised some important issues to which the government needs to respond. The issue of public declaration of assets by the current president and his predecessor, Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Lungu respectively, must be address. The two should lead by example. This public disclosure is cardinal to the fight against corruption.

    The USD24million surrendered by Mr. Milingo is but the tip of the iceberg. This creation of a two tier justice system is not good for the country. We need full disclose over this matter.

  4. We put Dr. SS. This has always been my concern in our country of late there’s two tier justice system. As a matter of fact our justice system is supporting criminality, or should we say it’s a reconciliation process with criminals?? Let’s be open.

  5. 24 million dollars from one mine what of the other mines in terms of back door loyalties and royalties. BANE WE DON’T NEED AID IN ZAMBIA

  6. Yes,recover more money which was obtained dubiously and pay retired Civil servants.Some civil servants were retired in 1999, meaning twenty four years and have not fully been paid their pension money.The structural adjustment program under HIPIC left a lot of civil servants stuck when they were underpaid pension.They went to the High court and the court ruled in their favour.A lot have not been paid that difference.This money has lost value because of time facter they will end up getting nothing because the calculations may not be revised.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here