Dear Honourable Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu,
I am writing this open letter to you in my capacity as lead Plaintiff of the 235 former BP Zambia Plc pensioners.
I campaigned for the government to conduct a forensic audit in the operations of the Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund after the managers of the Fund came to court to give evidence against my group when our matter (Expendito C Chipalo & 235 Others vs BP Zambia now Puma Energy Zambia) was referred to assessment in 2015.
Your predecessor then Honourable Felix Mutati ordered the Pension and Insurance Authority (PIA) to appoint an audit firm to conduct the audit. KPMG were appointed to conduct the forensic audit and it was completed while Mr. Felix Mutati was still Minister of Finance and he never released the report.
His successor Honourable Margret Mwanakatwe also refused to release the report but instead gave a very feeble ministerial statement on the matter.
I am now writing to appeal to you to release this very important document which is of very high public interest for the following reasons:
1. It is my democratic right to know the outcome of the audit because I am the one who requested the government through the ministry of Finance to conduct the audit.
2. Two copies of the report were released to the chairperson of the Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees and it therefore is not a government secrete.
3. The audit was ordered by the Ministry of Finance after a public outcry about the operations of the Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund and the government owes the people of Zambia an explanation of what the audit discovered and what the government is doing to correct the situation so that the pensions of innocent retired workers are protected.
4. Through vey detailed investigations, I have discovered that the same abuses of the pension funds that arose three years ago are persisting in the Saturnia Pension Fund. A company which owed the Saturnia Pension Fund a lot of money has suddenly become a PLC entity and among the many shareholders are various Pension Schemes and Trusts.
5. Finally, there are problems with the pension benefits of miners who have retired from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
6. Some people directly involved with the administration of the Saturnia Regna Pension Fund are using dirty tricks with impunity to impede court processes related to pension claims and the unknowing public are putting the blame on the shoulders of the government instead.
7. The impunity in the abuse of pension funds has got to come to an end.
I hope honourable Minister that you will respond positively to the demand of the Zambians whose future livelihoods are at great risk. I have lost 96 friends (former BP Zambia Pensioners) who have died in utter poverty, silently and in despair because of the abuse of their pension benefits by Saturnia Regna Pension Scheme Fund managers.
Please let the truth be known.
Expendito Chipasha Chipalo