ISRAEL Ambassador to Zambia Gershon Kedar has refuted allegations regarding the smuggling of money to President Edgar Lungu.
Ambassador Kedar stated in a statement that the relationship between Israel and Zambia was positive and multi-faceted and all conducted according to the laws and regulations of both countries.
“It has been brought to my attention that allegations have been made regarding snuggling of money from Israel on board the official aircraft of the President of Zambia,” he stated. “I vigorously and official deny such malicious and false allegations.”
He stated that various Israel companies were active in Zambia in fields such as agriculture, water, information technology, health, communications, defence, all of which were subject to Israel laws prohibiting corruption (as per Israel membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and stringent procedures regarding international financial transactions.
Ambassador Kedar said in addition, government to government cooperation flourishes specifically in the field of agriculture and health and that yesterday a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Ministry of Tourism and Arts of Zambia.
On Monday, National Democratic Congress leader Chishimba Kambwili said he was afraid Zambia was under State capture.
He said there was fear that maybe the Zambian Presidential jet on which Valden Findlay flies with President Lungu was being used to courier drugs.
“We see when you go abroad and when coming out of the plane, the next person to come out is Valden Findlay. There are allegations by the people of Zambia and world over that maybe the presidential trips and plane is now being used to courier drugs. This man (Findlay) has been mentioned in drug deals in America by Goswami, who was also locked up by Dr Kaunda here in Zambia and deported. This man has given to the American government and courts to the effect that Valden Findlay is as associate in drug dealing.”
“Are we under State capture by Valden Findlay? What business do you do with Valden Findlay, your excellence the President? The people of Zambia want to know. We have seen of late that now even jobs in government have started going to people who are close to Valden Findlay…. This Chellah, who is the Special Assistant to the President for project monitoring and implementation was a chola boy for Findlay but now he has got a government job, we are wondering your excellence. This one I don’t want your press aide to answer, I don’t want anybody to answer, I just want the President himself to answer to the people of Zambia whether we are under State capture with Findlay,” Kambwili said.
“Those are allegations but very serious allegations. And we cannot run way from it as a country. That’s why now you can see K13.6 million presidential initiative fund without knowing were the money comes from but I have said that can we be told where the Presidential empowerment money comes from…..”
“There is even an allegation that there was money that came from Israel on the Presidential jet, I have no facts but there is an allegation trunks of money came from Israel on that Presidential Jet but I leave it with you my dear President, my dear brother. Don’t think that I hate you, I have nothing against you but I am trying to protect your integrity, protect Zambia’s integrity and protect the ordinary people of Zambia. Because if it is proved that indeed there are some dealings in drugs going on then we are in trouble as a nation and the people who are going to suffer is not Findlay, it’s not President Edgar Lungu, it’s actually the ordinary poor Zambian people…twasukeni ba yama, namutotela mukwai (uncle answer us, thank you).”