Events surrounding President Lungu’s $4m Swazi mansion

 Events surrounding President Lungu’s $4m Swazi mansion

There are a lot of events that helps one to pip through the mansion for President Edgar Lungu in Swaziland.

Below is a sequence of key events leading up to where we are today on the mansion State House Swazi deals:

1: JULY 2017 –The Road Development Agency (RDA) awards K701 million contract to Inyatsi Roads Zambia Limited, a subsidiary of Inyatsi Construction Holdings Ltd of Swaziland. The contract is to rehabilitate the Ndola-Mufulira Road.

2: JULY 2017 – Groundbreaking ceremony for Ndola-Mufulira Road, President Lungu travels to Mufulira to grace the event. Other senior officials in attendance are Ronald Chitotela and Bowman Lusambo.

3: JULY 28, 2017 – President Lungu goes to Swaziland on a two day working visit, the visit is only announced the day before he leaves by then foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba.

4: August 26, 2017 – Six weeks after the project is launched, Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo inspects the site and finds that serious works have not commenced.

He threatens Inyatsi management with termination of the contract. He threatens to report Inyatsi to President Lungu and recommend for termination of the contract.

5: September 3, 2017 – President Lungu, State House officials and close friends of the President including press aide Amos Chanda, political advisor Kaizar Zulu and presidential affairs minister Freedom Sikazwe travel to Swaziland where they also participate in the reed dance ceremony.

The President was in Swaziland just five weeks earlier at the end of July. The President undertook two trips to Swaziland in a space of five weeks.

6: November 2017 – Special Assistant to the President for Projects Monitoring Andrew Chellah announces that RDA has awarded a second contract to Inyatsi Roads Zambia Limited to fix the Kafue-Chikankata-Mazabuka Road.

State House instructs ministry of finance to release funds for works to commence according to Chellah.

7: November 2017 – A tender is advertised by Inyatsi Properties to selected architectural firms in Swaziland to submit draft architectural designs for a mansion to be built for President Edgar Lungu at Nkonyeni Golf Estate in Swaziland.

Nkonyeni Golf Estate is owned by Inyatsi Construction Holdings Ltd through a subsidiary called Inyatsi Properties. This is the same parent company that owns Inyatsi Roads Zambia Ltd.

8: February 2018 – Bowman Lusambo, who five months earlier had a bitter exchange with Inyatsi Roads Zambia Ltd directors and threatened to have their contracts terminated is transferred from Copperbelt province to Lusaka province, no reasons are given for his transfer.

9: May 12, 2018 – A whistle-blower from one of the bidders, a company known as Architects International of Mbabane Swaziland leaks some of the proposed architectural diagrams of the President’s mansion, these go viral on social media.

10: May 14, 2018 – Information Minister Dora Siliya comes out to addresses the issue and confirms that indeed President Lungu and Press Aide Amos Chanda own land and are building houses at Nkonyeni Golf Estate.

Ms Siliya claims that this was a gift given to them on a state visit to Swaziland, at this time the public is unaware of the links between Inyatsi and the Nkonyeni Golf Estate.

11: May 16, 2018 – The Times of Swaziland newspaper picks up the story and reveals a lot of hidden information that directly ties President Lungu to Inyatsi Ltd, the RDA and two road contracts awarded to Inyatsi in the last 10 months.

The newspaper search of public records done at the Swaziland Deeds Registry Public Information Centre reveals that Nkonyeni Golf Estate where President Lungu is building his mansion is owned on title by Inyatsi Construction Holdings Ltd, the parent company of Inyatsi Roads Zambia Ltd which was awarded two huge contracts by the RDA within the last 10 months.

President Lungu attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the first contract in July 2017 and the second contract was announced by his special assistant for projects Andrew Chellah in November 2017.

The newspaper further reveals that the budget for construction of this mansion is $3.9 million. It becomes apparent that these properties were not gifts from the Swazi government as claimed, rather they were given by Inyatsi Ltd in exchange for multi-million-dollar road contracts/Outside News Sources.


The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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