Sunday, June 23, 2024

Auditor General joins investigation team on Zambia Railways

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The Auditor General (AG) has joined the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) as investigations in the alleged corruption scandal surrounding the management of Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) intensify.

ZRL chief executive officer Clive Chirwa was recently suspended by President Michael Sata for alleged corrupt doings while the parastatal’s Board of Directors was dissolved in an earlier action.

A six-man forensic team would soon be dispatched to Kabwe to carry out audit works and determine the extent of financial damage caused on the parastatal’s coffers amid a scheduled injection of US$120 million part of the Eurobond package to revitalise operations.

Auditor General’s office deputy Director Forensic Audit, Masiye Banda said the happenings at ZRL were of grave concern despite the office having already planned to carry out an audit this year.

“In light of what has happened at the ZRL the forensic team being dispatched by the Auditor General’s office will intensify their investigations and if there is any need to share vital information with the ACC, we will do so because this is part of our MoU with the ACC,” Mr Banda said.

He said the AG’s office dispatches auditors to government agencies that required auditing.

A feud ensued between the Board led by Mark Chona and Professor Chirwa based on financial mismanagement and plans to overhaul ZRL.

This prompted the Government to dissolve the Board and later the suspension of Prof Chirwa.

The ACC was immediately summoned to carry out thorough investigations in the matter.

Mr Sata had since appointed Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Permanent Secretary, Muyenga Atanga to manage ZRL in the meantime.

He also ordered Prof Chirwa who would be on half salary, to vacate the Fallsway luxury apartments in Lusaka.

The wrangles between Prof Chirwa and the Board members had been received with outrage from civil society groups and the labour movement, who all demanded for hastened investigations.

Transport, Works Supply and Communications Minister, Christopher Yaluma has however, assured the nation that plans to overhaul the national railway would not be derailed.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Finances are taking center stage. The tax payer has the right to know how public funds are utilized. However, the real issue at ZRL concern strategy. Bring back the morning train! Bring back the night train! Bring back Doba Doba! Bring back Rail Car! The risk of sacrificing revival strategy at the alter of personality clashes is high. Despite the Bing Bang, it is apparent that ZRL is set for a bright future. Zambian CEOs need to address the issue of hefty bonuses or buying golden shares as reward for bringing development and employment into the country. Transport sector needs to address issues of integration in order to create a common platform for Zambian National Airline and Zambia Railways. Zambian CEOs also need to address issues of relative decent pecks and dignified lifestyle.

  2. I WISH ALL PARASTATALS CAN B TREATED THE SAME ESPECIALY ZESCO. BYTHEWAY WHEN ARE THOSE ABUSING PUBLIC FUNDS IN VARIOUS GOVT DEPERTMENTS GOING TO B PROSECUTED?

  3. When the big fish is involved even Transparence International Of Zambia will be talking but what about corruption at lower levels like the one Chingola DC is involved in is it not corruption.TIZ is aware of what Chingola DC has done and has not commented. Don’t be segregative in your fight againist corruption. I hope the same way Mr Sata has suspended Chirwa he will also suspend Chingola DC Goerge Sichula

  4. It is a hangover from the UNIP days. I remember some of our parents were audited up to four times in a year on allegations with the sordid hope of finding something wrong. Despite this I am hopeful that we do have new ways of thinking and can get neutral results. Lets move forward for once please.

  5. Mr Chirwa and the Zambia railways board have not been in office for a long time and the investigating wings are doing there job to stop the rot, however why is it not so with politicians? why does it have to take until a party gets out office power for investigations to be started that is after resources have already been stolen

  6. Hope it aint the game of wits but if prof saasa is about saying the the truth then I am very disappointed and angry with prof chirwa to which l recommend a jail term for him n if the opposite is the truth then I am wondering why we would be character assassinating ourselves over inkongole shesu and would edge H.E sata to not only blacklist the board but also to put them behind bars for as long as is necessary for repentence to effect

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