Zambia: NAPSA Scolds Post Lies

The National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) has refuted reports by The Post Newspaper that President Rupiah Banda was using the organisation to fundraise for the MMD, saying the authority operates in line with the Public Procurement Act.

According to a statement issued by the NAPSA public affairs office, the acquisition of the 1, 500 acres of land from Meanwood Property Development was an investment decision by the authority which had nothing to do with the president and the MMD.

"In relation to procedures relating to NAPSA investments and indeed the investment referred to in the article, to the contrary, NAPSA operates in line with the public procurement Act No 12 of 2008. In the case of Meanwood Property Development, the final approval was given at a management procurement committee (MPC) meeting of December 30, 2010 after having exhausted all the necessary processes.

"During the period between December 7 , 2010 and January 24, 2011, the management procurement committee was mandated to bear on such matters until the release of a circular on January 24, 2011 which introduced a committee to take over the functions of the central tender committee," reads the statement.

According to the statement through the laid down procedures and investment guidelines which govern investments, NAPSA has made huge investments including the Levy Business Park, the Nyumbayanga Housing Project opposite Leopards Hill Cemetery in Lusaka and the Kalulushi Housing Project.

"We wish to categorically state that the issue of any external influences from anywhere including the Republican president do not arise at all. Further, the board and management of NAPSA operate within the confines of corporate governace structures with no influence from the president or indeed any other external bodies," reads the statement.

NAPSA has also explained that for the land in question, an independent valuer was engaged through selective tender to value the land to give an indicative selling price.

The pensions body said that on the basis of an independent valuer, the authority proceeded to negotiate on the purchase price and purchased the 1, 500 acres which is a prime area near the new American embassy after the due process was exhausted.

"NAPSA envisages putting up a modern housing complex to mitigate the critical shortage of housing in Lusaka and Zambia in general," reads the statement.

The organisation observed that it was strange that The Post Newspaper did not bother to verify its information before publishing the story.

"If this was done, management would have gladly explained the issues relating to the matter at hand and the futile efforts which have been made and continue to be made in trying to acquire land from the ministry of lands and indeed the local authority in Lusaka," reads the

statement.

In their Tuesday edition, the antagonistic tabloid reported that senior members of the MMD had exposed an election campaign fundraising land scandal at NAPSA.

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