Isn't it wonderful how inaccurate information gets
credibility because it's published on the Internet?!
David Lush writes:
> >>From The Post of 19/08/97
> >Katele's ZAMNET shares understated
> >By Dickson Jere
> >Post investigations have revealed that University of Zambia (UNZA)
> >vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Siwela had misled the UNZA and Copperbelt
> >University commission of inquiry commissioners on the percentage of ZAMNET
> >shares that he had given to health minister Katele Kalumba.
> >Professor Siwela, in his earlier submission to the commission, said
> >Kalumba was given 12.5 per cent free shares in ZAMNET communication
Dr Kalumba does only have a 12.5% shareholding in ZAMNET. The University
would not be wise to sell 25% and thus give up control of the company.
(Professor Siwela and Professor Mwenechanya each have 12.5% while the
University retains 62.5%)
> >And a check on Kalumba's file of declaration of assets at the Chief Justice
> >chambers also showed that the health minister had declared a 25 per cent
> >holding in ZAMNET.
It would appear that an error was made in this declaration. No doubt Mr Jere
could have verified this by talking to Dr Kalumba.
> >In 1996 when he was appointed health minister, Kalumba declared his
> >business shares in ZAMNET jointly with another company called Mutila.
In case this is confusing the other company is another company that
Dr Kalumba has an interest in. It is not a company with a joint interest in
> >He said the
> >communication venture was actively handled by Kalumba, who was then a
> >lecturer at UNZA, as a project for the School of Medicine.
This is not in quotes so I'm not sure if Professor Siwela actually said this
or Mr Jere interpreted it. However at the time that ZAMNET was formed
in 1994 Dr Kalumba was deputy minister of Health and had been an MP
since 1991. This is easily verifiable. Dr Kalumba did not actively
handle the ZAMNET project and ZAMNET grew out of the pioneering
work in regional e-mail done by the University's Computer Centre
lead by Mark Bennett. It was never a project for the School of
Medicine although the School of Medicine did support a separate pilot
project that put e-mail facilities into most of the hospitals in Southern
However much of the work that the Computer Centre was doing was of
direct benefit to the health sector and a relationship between that
sector and the University developed. The World Bank funding which
helped to establish ZAMNET was partly a result of that relationship
and the importance of better electronic communication to the
health reforms process in Zambia. Some time after ZAMNET was
established Dr Kalumba was invited to join the board in acknowledgment
of the continuing relationship between ZAMNET and the health sector.
> >Professor Siwela said the condition for the World Bank finance was that the
> >UNZA holds only 51 per cent shares in the venture which led to his
> >decision to allocate himself and deputy vice chancellor Professor Jorry
> >Mwanachanya 25 per cent shares in their personal capacities.
Professor Siwela did not decide to allocate himself and Professor
Mwenechanya those shares. The decision was taken by the University's
finance committee and ratified by University Council.
Those are some of the facts as I know them. Whether any or all of the
decisions taken in the sale of shares was wise is not for me to say. However
the details of ZAMNET's creation and the decisions to sell shares to private
individuals in whatever capacity are properly documented in the minutes of
the various meetings at which those decisions were made. Mr Jere could have
verified them if he had been rather more investigative and had dug a little
deeper. He has not approached anyone at ZAMNET during the 'researching' of
ZAMNET Communication Systems Ltd
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