For those who have insufficient knowledge of what has led to the arrest of Hon Newton Kambala and the team, here are some chronological basic facts.
1. UTM devised a fundraising strategy in readiness for 2025 tripartite elections.
2. Newton Kambala was mandated to lead the fundraising team, he is a secret fundraising coordinator for UTM.
3. In their fundraising strategy, they planned to identify
firms/companies to be dubiously awarded government contracts, UTM to take home some commissions, readers are at liberty to replace the word (commissions) with bribes.
4. The scheme was devised before Chakwera administration constituted the cabinet. UTM leadership fought for some key cabinet positions including Energy and that of mines, and not forgetting Attorney General. It worked for them since we have a listening president, unfortunately, those entrusted with positions of authority ended up abusing their mandate.
5. By virtue of being Minister of Energy, Hon Kambala thought it would be easy to influence NOCMA fuel deals by awarding contracts to their preferred suppliers. Three potential suppliers were identified and secret agreements were reached, these are Trafigura, Orxy and Finergy.
6. A series of meetings were conducted with the three companies, initial bribes changed hands.
7. It wasn’t easy for Kambala and the team to facilitate the award of contracts to their preferred suppliers behind the knowledge of NOCMA, they had no choice but to approach the management of the institution (NOCMA) legally mandated to facilitate recruitment of fuel suppliers. Their attempts to influence NOCMA to award contracts to their preferred bidders were unsuccessful, the company’s management resisted vehemently.
8. NOCMA went ahead hiring fuel suppliers following all stipulated recruitment guidelines.
9. Smelling defeat, Kambala, and the team falsely alleged that NOCMA had corruptly hired fuel suppliers. ACB stopped the process and investigated to establish the truth of the matter. Their (ACB’s) investigation established that the recruitment process was done procedurally, no offense was committed. The restriction was lifted, NOCMA was granted a go-ahead.
10. Before Kambala and the team complained to ACB about the alleged dubious recruitment process by NOCMA, the Acting CEO of NOCMA had already complained to the corruption bustling body about interference in the recruitment exercise. Supporting evidence, said to be overwhelming, accompanied NOCMA’s complaint against Kambala and the team.
11. The three have been arrested after investigations in relation to NOCMA’s complaint.
I can confidently say that Chakwera is on track in the fight against theft and corruption. By arresting those within Tonse Alliance, there is practical proof of implementation of rule of law.