The Private Public Partnership (PPP) contract signed between the University of Zambia and Graduare Property Development Limited is being used as a channel to fund UPND’s political activities, our investigations reveal.

In 2010, the University of Zambia Council and Graduare, the developer, signed the PPP agreement in which the latter, where UPND financier Collin Sitali is a shareholder and using Italian businessman Diego Casilli as a front in the deal.

PACRA records show that shareholders in Graduare are Sitali, who is a director, Gillian Casilli, Diego’s wife, a director who is listed as Zambian, South African Terence Rory Mackey and Antoinette Margaret Basson, a South Africa.

Under this deal where UNZA leased part of its land, Graduare was to construct a shopping mall (East Park) and student hostels.

The agreement was further that 90 per cent of the employees at East Park Mall should  have been disadvantaged students who have difficulties in paying their school fees.

However, only the shopping mall, which obviously is a money spinner for the developer, has been constructed while the project for student hostels and the employment of vulnerable students is still pending.

According to the contract agreement for the construction of student hostels which Zambia Reports is in possession of, the hostel project was to take effect six months after the signing of the contract on February 8, 2010.

One of the stated conditions stipulate that failure to do this within the six-month period would be considered a breach of contract and allow the UNZA Council to phase out the project.

“The Developers shall, within the period of six months from the date of this Contract verifiably demonstrate their capacity and ability to raise the finances required to develop the Students Hostels. Failure to demonstrate capacity and ability to raise the finances shall constitute fundamental breach of this Contract. The risk associated with failure to complete the Development shall be managed through phasing of the project,” stated the contract in part as seen by Zambia Reports.

It has been established that Graduare is ignoring its obligation to provide new student hostels as stipulated in the contract agreement.

Another point of agreement in the PPP project was the construction of a hotel and business park in which UNZA was to have shares, but that has not been done either.

Had the student hostels been contracted as agreed between Graduare and the UNZA Council, the issue of accommodation problems at the institution of higher learning would not have been there by now.

Instead, the deal is clearly a channel to finance personal and political interests since one of the shareholders of Graduare is a financier for the UPND.

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