ZTE was blacklisted by Norway’s public pension fund which is managed by the Norwegian central bank.
The contract was awarded to ZTE in 2011 by senior government officials under a direct agreement, without an open procedure, raising suspicions about corruption. Critics of the project said the costs may have been inflated. The Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said its investigation of the deal has uncovered evidence that the contract was awarded to the Chinese company by some senior government officials in a corrupt manner.
The Zambian government had already terminated the contract, following allegations of corruption and non-compliance with standard regulations.
The ACC, a government agency responsible for investigating allegations of corruption and prosecuting corruption cases, said without elaborating that it will not take the ZTE corruption issue to court because of legal technicalities.
“The allegations of corruption were proved true by ACC in this matter but the commission has not prosecuted anyone due to legal technicalities.”
The council added: “In conjunction with previous corruption cases and the fact that the company operates in a sector and many countries associated with high risk of corruption, this finding indicates that there’s an unacceptable risk that the company may once again become involved in gross corruption,” it said.
The Norwegian fund valued at 820 billion has sold its stake in zte valued at $11.37 million according to 2014 figures.
The Norwegian fund holds stock in more than 9000 companies, controlling 1.3% of the world’s market capitalization.
The fund draws investment money from the huge oil revenues of Norway,intended to pay future generations in a welfare state after oil wells run dry.