Inquiry's findings on Zamtel sale were stage-managed...

THE findings of the Zamtel sale commission of inquiry which revealed glaring evidence of illegality and fraudulent transactions was stage-managed, says George Kunda.

Kunda, who was vice-president at the time the infamous transaction was sealed, said the whole transaction is well-documented at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and Cabinet office.

"All the processes were followed to the letter. These inquiries were stage-managed," Kunda told journalists.

"The people who are chairing these inquiries are given the terms of reference with predetermined conclusion that this was a corrupt transaction 'go and investigate it', so what else can they come up with? This is what we are seeing."

Kunda said reversing the sale of Zamtel would erode investor confidence as Zambia would be seen to be a country that did not protect property rights.

He said the country risked legal suit from LAP Green if the 75 per cent Zamtel shares held by the Libyan company were reversed.

"Investors will lose confidence if each government which comes has to reverse privatisation, where are going to go? A succeeding government takes over liabilities and assets of the nation," said Kunda.

"It doesn't matter whether it is MMD government or PF government. It's the government of Republic of Zambia. If we make wrong decisions, we are going to be sued as a nation, as a State. This we must bear in mind. We took over under the late president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, we had to honour previous agreements made by previous administration. That is what instills investor confidence. But if investors are going to come here, follow the laws of this country, they purchase property, we come and seize, what message are we sending to the international community about the protection of property? There is no protection of property. Anybody can wake up and start grabbing property. This is what is happening."

Kunda said the commissions of inquiry in the suspicious transactions entered into by the previous administration were fault-finding.

"It Zamtel sale is above board and Mr Sebastian Zulu was given the terms of reference to say, 'you find corruption in this transaction' and of course 'he who pays the piper plays the tune'.

"It is unprecedented to appoint six commissions, and we don't know how many more are still coming. That is fault-finding," Kunda said.