ExposÉ

Capital Market Capture Part 2: Compromising the LuSE Treasury

The Lusaka Stock Exchange has employed a chief financial officer/finance manager who is unregistered with the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) as per requirements, the Zambia Reports has established.

The capture has gotten worse with the Chairman single-handedly appointing Mr Silas Simukoko as Finance Manager. Mr Simukoko, however, doesn’t possess any ZICA recognised training for the role.

He has no professional financial or accounting qualification. His name is missing from the recently published list of registered professionals. Why isn’t this of concern to the LuSE Board which would sanction listed companies if they were to make such an appointment? Why is the supposed torchbearer of transparency, orderliness and good corporate governance terribly found captured?

The first Finance Manager of LuSE was Mrs Catherine Makala (deceased), who was the wife to prominent lawyer, Ken Makala. After her untimely demise, the Accountant then, Mr Stephen Kaonda, a CBU graduate, was promoted and Mr Beyani Zulu was engaged as Accountant.

Both had Bachelor of Accountancy degrees from CBU and registered with ZICA. However both left the company and Mr Joel Mbulo, an equally qualified accountant who had taken over from Mr Zulu, acted as Finance Manager until he was promoted to Finance Manager by the former chief executive officer Mr Brian Tembo.

However, his rise was short-lived as he was dismissed by the former CEO for forgery and embezzlement.

Against all odds, the board led by chairman Mr Alfred J. Lungu Board protected Mr Mbulo together with the current CEO Priscilla Sampa, who was then the Legal Counsel and Company Secretary, it has been unearthed.

Ironically, the Legal Counsel and Company Secretary is responsible for Compliance and good corporate governance. Further, we have discovered that sadly, the LuSE Board aided and abetted the cover up of a crime and laundered Mr Mbulo by not only facilitating but stage-managing his resignation. What is even appalling is that according to the LuSE organogram, the Finance Manager reports to the CEO and is therefore employed by the CEO.

The only position at the LuSE which reports to the Board is that of CEO. What then was the Board Chairman’s interest in protecting a wrong doer? Was he covering up the unearthed dirt under his charge? How was he subsequently employed by Finance Securities Limited, a shareholder of the LuSE, when one of its owners and MD, Mrs Zandile Shaba, was a victim of his forgery? Why did a respected businessman like Mark O’Donnell who was himself a victim of the forgery by Mr Mbulo support the Board decision to cover up the misdeeds?

If Mr Mbulo did no wrong, why wasn’t he retained at the LuSE? In every organisation, forgery and embezzlement by the Purse Keeper is a summary dismissal offence. Investigations have also discovered that then LuSE human resource consultant Mr Kelvin Sokuni acrimoniously resigned from a LuSE Committee when this cover up was made. Can the public trust the LuSE Board to oversee its mandate if they bend wrong to right?

Why was Mr. Mbulo’s application to the SEC for a Dealer’s Representative License rejected? The Securities Act No. 41, 2016 requires that such an application must be supported by recommendation letters. The LuSE Chairman and Legal Counsel supported Mr Mbulo’s application knowing too well that he did not qualify to obtain such license given his admitted transgression at the LuSE. This act is a breach of Section 36 of the Securities Act. Mr. Mbulo’s CV currently has both Mrs Sampa and Mr Lungu as his referees.

Unfortunately, the SEC has found itself toothless after Mr Lungu used his friend’s young brother, Felix Mutati, who was Minister of Finance then, to have the former SEC Chairman Mr Chintu Mulendema rejected for appointment to the SEC Board despite ZICA nominating him. Mr Mulendema was proactive in pushing for LuSE compliance but they had to push him out!

 

The Zambia Reports investigations have revealed that the current LuSE Finance Department does not appear on the list of registered accountants with ZICA:

 

Silas Simukoko – Chief Finance Officer/Finance Manager

Kalumina Shamutete – Accountant

Madalitso Sampa – Accounts Assistant

But those who swerved in similar posts previously are registered – Joel Mbulo L005708

Beyani Zulu F004896.

The SEC chief executive officer Phillip Chitalu is equally a registered accountant under number F000602 while the SEC Director of Market Supervision Ms Mutumboi Mundia is also registered under A000692.

So neither SEC nor LuSE can claim that they don’t know the requirements.

Interestingly, key LuSE Audit Committee member Mutale Mukuka, the Chief Financial Officer at Copperbelt Energy Corporation, is registered under number number L001685 and represents listed companies on the board.

Following last week’s expose, the LuSE board called for an extraordinary general meeting last Thursday to discuss the matter.

Source: Zambia Reports

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