Luapula Province Permanent Secretary, Jazzman Chikwakwa, has called on government departments and other spending agencies to use public finances prudently.
He warned that imprudent use of public funds would be tantamount to corruption, a vice which government is seriously fighting.
Mr Chikwakwa said yesterday that heads of government departments should ensure that monthly allocations were spent on development related activities that would benefit the people in the province.
He said whoever would be found spending public funds to gain personal wealth would be disciplined. He warned that civil servants should learn a lesson from incarcerated public workers.
He was speaking when he announced that the Ministry of Finance has released funding to government departments in the province.
The Permanent Secretary said Luapula province has been given a total of K1.9 billion for Recurrent Departmental Charges (RDCs) for the month of January.This amount will be shared among 26 spending agencies in the province.
He further said the funds must be properly utilised on developmental activities that benefit the people and not be spent on officers’ allowances.
And Mr Chikwakwa explained that his decision to announce the monthly allocations to various spending agencies in the province in an open meeting was meant to ensure transparency in his administration.
He said although some provincial heads of departments were against the idea of announcing their allocations in an open meeting, this was important for the sake of ensuring checks and balances.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Commerce has summoned Mr. Chikwakwa and District Commissioners for a meeting to discuss the failure by the province to utilise the K10 billion released to the province by the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) last year.
Mr. Chikwakwa disclosed yesterday during a meeting that the province has only used K1 billion out of the K10 billion allocated to the province.
He said Luapula province had the lowest utilisation of the CEE funds compared to other provinces.
He expressed fear that the province might risk not being considered in future for equal disbursement of developmental funds if such funding was not utilised within the time frame.