Corruption search ordeal
A senior government official is reported to have instigated the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to institute corruption investigations against Nyiombo Investment Limited one of the companies awarded a contract to procure, supply and deliver to the government supported Farmer Input Support Programme for the 2012 farming season.
The official was earlier part of an attempt to derail the process when the matter went to court but was later withdrawn.
According to a search warrant issued by Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda being executed by Parret Muteto of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), the court ordered for the search of Nyiombo Investment premises for documents and other information in relation to the awarding of fertilizer contracts.
“I Parret Muteto of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, being first dully sworn, complains that Nyiombo Investments Limited together with other unknown parties in t he period 2007 to 2012, are reasonably suspected of having participated or facilitated conditions resulting in the allocation of markets and bid in the t ender for fertilizer contracts and the supply of fertilizer to t he government of the republic of Zambia contrary to section 9 (1) b and c of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act number 24 of 2010.”
The search warrant also states that, “And that he has reasonable cause to suspect, and does suspect that documents or some other forms of evidence of this conduct are in the business premises of the said Nyiombo Investiment Limited, situated at plot number 5277/78 Buyantashi Road, Heavy Industrial area, Lusaka,
Zambia for he, the said Parret Muteto, deposes and says that Nyiombo Investments Limited together with other known parties in the period 2007 to 2012, are reasonably suspected of having participated or affiliated conditions resulting in the allocation of markets and bid rigging in the tender for fertilizer contracts and the supply of fertilizer to government of the republic of Zambia contrary to section 9 (1) b and c of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act number 24 of 2010.”
But government security wings investigating the matter have revealed that pressure was coming from a named Minister who was not happy about the contract being awarded to Nyiombo as he had interest through another company.
The source revealed that the supply of farming inputs was under controversy because of a named minister in government whose interests using someone’s’ company had failed as they did not have the capacity to supply the 2012-2013 farming inputs.
The source said that Nyiombo had been supplying farming inputs since 2007 and wondered why now they were being investigated when they had enough technical and financial capacity to procure, supply and deliver the inputs.
The source said that the combined team of ACC officers and CCPC officers have been searching Nyiombo offices since Friday and have since sealed off the offices in order to complete their investigations today or tomorrow.
“We have been instructed to find any information which can work against the company in order to revoke the deal which has already been sealed. And this if not carefully handled it will put in problems Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda who allowed the awarding of the contract to Nyiombo and Omnia to go ahead,” the source said.