pix curtesy of Lusaka Times

Zesco Ltd has been forced to pay a PF allied company over US$10million in order to finance Edgar Lungu and PF elections. The Patriotic Front has in the last two months been cash strapped for campaigns, with grassroots complaining of no funds, especially new parliamentary candidates who have had no access to state funds,
An Egyptian Company by the name of Al-SEWEDY Group of Companies partnered with ZESCO to form Zambia Electro Meters Limited to manufacture and supply smart electricity meters. However the past years they have supplied faulty meters which have to be replaced. They have never been replaced but ZESCO paid for the meters. Since inception, Zambia Electro Meters Ltd has never declared dividends to ZESCO despite being paid for faulty meters. Al-SEWEDY has been externalizing all proceeds, which are shared with PF top leadership abroad.
In the current deal ZESCO had asked for bids but out of the ten bidders, AL-SEWEDY Group, now registered in Slovania, was the only bidder that qualified because of the ring-fenced conditions that only favored AL-SEWEDY. The company had proposed to finance the supply worth about US$15million but was inflated to US$40million to carter for payments to PF top leadership and to finance Edgar Lungu’s campaigns. Under financing ZESCO was not supposed to make any payments until supplies were completed.
However, in the last fifteen days ZESCO and AL-SEWEDY rushed into signing the contract, with Attorney General giving express authority to sign. Instead of doing the financing the terms have now changed and ZESCO has been asked to make an advance payment of US$10million. This advance payment was made this week of July to help PF with finances. They are also using the Slovanian registered AL-SEWEDY in order to avoid paying ZESCO dividends and further scrutiny had they used Zambia Electro Meters Ltd. ZESCO managers have been under pressure from PF top leadership to quickly make the advance payment to AL-SEWEDY in order to finance Edgar Lungu’s campaigns, which was grounding to a halt for lack of funds. There is discontent within ZESCO by middle management staff while top managers are also content with some change from the payment.