Felix Mutati has remained quite over the issue of the FTJ Chiluba University whose loan financing agreement he signed


Felix Mutati, Minister of Technology and Science has remained quite over the issue of the FTJ Chiluba University whose loan financing agreement he signed on behalf of Patriotic Front ( PF) government, putting the lives of the people he had worked with in jeopardy.

Like a cheap opportunist, he has remained silent as the current government, under the guise of fighting corruption, has been dragging people through courts only to have the matter withdrawn today. The Zambian Whistleblower knows what President Hakainde Hichilema’s next move will be and we shall tell you about it later.

This case has been withdrawn a day after President Hichilema declared that former public officers who got money meant for roads and other projects will soon be made to pay back.

The Zambian Whistleblower has had detailed information on this matter but out of respect for court process, refrained from publishing anything on it.

Now that the case has been withdrawn, here is the first instalment of this story about which we would like Zambians to be very well informed.

Felix Mutati understands the genesis of this project and had a big part in it. Here are the facts.

The decision to build FTJ Chiluba University was made by Late President Michael Sata in 2012. A tender was issued in 2013 and China Energy Engineering Group Hunan Power Design Institute Company Limited was awarded, but this was later cancelled due to lack of funds.

In 2015, a decision was made to proceed with a project using a loan from China. Zambia Public Procurement Authority ( ZPPA) was written to on 26th June 2017 for a No Objection to waive tender procedures and direct bid this same contractor. After initially seeking clarification regarding financing of the project, ZPPA, received more documents including a letter from the Ministry of Finance confirming that the treasury would facilitate the acquisition of the loan for the project, finally granted a clear No Objection through a letter dated 10th July 2017.

Afterwards, two Procurement committee meetings were held and the draft contract was submitted to the Attorney General for approval, and he duly cleared it for signing.

The agreed financing for the FTJ Chiluba University was as follows: 15% (US$ 33,75m) advance payment would be made by the Government of the Republic of Zambia to the contractor( as an interest free loan for Design and Mobilisation and 85% ( US$ 191.25m) would come from China as a loan ( This would be for the actual construction of the two campuses- FTJ Chiluba University Mansa and FTJ Chiluba University at Ntumpa in Kasama. The second campus was actually suggested by Mutati personally).

The US$ 33.75m would be recovered from the US$ 191.25m Chinese loan by way of subsequent Certificate of Works.

Felix Mutati as Minister of Finance signed ( after Cabinet approval) the loan financing agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited for the Bank to provide the US$ 191.25m for construction of the two University campuses.

The Construction of the two FTJ Chiluba University campuses could not proceed because the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited that was supposed to provide 85% ( US$ 191.25m) of the funds meant for actual construction reneged on their commitment after June 2018. The reasons they gave for not honouring the signed loan financing agreement was failure by the Zambian government to service other loans that were contracted earlier.

Unfortunately, this development occurred after the US$33.75m ( 15%) interest free loan had already been paid by the Zambian Government to China Energy Engineering Group Hunan Power Design Institute Company Limited as advance payment for design and Mobilisation for the two campuses.

Since this is how these matters transpired, it is shocking that when President Hichilema’s government decided to investigate the matter, they focused their attention on senior civil servants in the ministries involved and ignored totally the contractor who received the US$ 33.75m.

If the contractor did not do the works he was paid to do, was this the fault of the senior civil servants who were arrested?

Those arrested over this matter are Fredson Yamba former Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. Patrick Nkanza former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Highrt Education, Mr Owen Mugemezulu former Permanent Secretary Higher Education, Mr. Joseph Nthele former Director Infrastructure Ministry of Higher Education, Mr. Joseph Ngulube Quantity Surveyor Ministry of General Education and Mr. Joseph Phiri Architect Mjnistry of General Education.

The initial charge in court was Willful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure relating to Procurement, contrary to section 34(2) (b) of the Anti Corruption Act number 3 of 2012.

But as has become apparent during trail Procurement procedures were followed strictly in the FTJ Chiluba University project.

But the big question remains, WHY HAS FELIX MUTATI REMAINED SILENT OVER THIS MATTER and allow innocent people to be dragged before court only to have the matter withdrawn?

If there was something wrong in the procedures followed in this project, the Ministry of Finance would not have committed the government to the loan financing agreement. And if the contractor did not do the works paid for, it is the contractor that the new government should pursue.

It is not surprising that all the seven key state witnesses who testified before the trial was discontinued today stated that all public procedures were followed.

This is why it is crookedness for Felix Mutati who was intimately involved in those procedures to remain silent and allow others to suffer malicious prosecution.

See attached some of the documents relating to this matter.

Good Night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *