Transparency International Zambia has given Youth and Sport Permanent Secretary Agness Musunga a 72 hours notice to take appropriate action on well documented evidence of public funds wastage taking place at the National Youth Development Council (NYDC) which she has been fully aware of from 18th August 2014 when TIZ officially notified her in writing.
The ultimatum is contained in a letter dated 22nd June 2015 received by her office on 23rd June 2015.
TIZ said in the letter that it is quite sure that the PS is fully aware of her full roles and responsibilities as stipulated in the Public Finance Act of 2004.
TIZ said it had informed the PS that its role is to protect public resources from abuse and wastages. TIZ in the letter confirmed that in August 2014, it wrote to the PS and held a meeting with her and her Directors at which TIZ confirmed that there was public funds misuse at the NYDC.
The PS confirmed to TIZ that the Auditor General’s office was undertaking an audit and the PS would give TIZ accepts of the report within a week.
TIZ said it is aware that on 21st November 2014, the Auditor General’s office submitted the audit findings at NYDC to the PS which confirmed the contents of the earlier TIZ letter dated 18th August 2014.
the whole budget was applied towards the payment of the council Chairman’s allowances
TIZ said it is also aware that over 6 Board members resigned from NYDC following the 2014 TIZ revelations on irregularities cited. TIZ informed the PS that among the Auditor Generals findings and TIZ’s earlier reports are as that the NYDC was involved in double payments to its Chairperson Saviour Chishimba amounting to K153, 134.41 which the Auditor General’s Office report have clearly stated that this was wasteful expenditure.
The report clearly shows that the total budget for the financial year ending December 31st 2014 for Board meetings was K154, 710. The report notes that the whole budget was applied towards the payment of the council Chairman’s allowances totaling K153, 134.41 (K95, 384.41 daily subsistence allowances and K57, 750 sitting allowances). That a total of K294, 596.37 representing 30% of the funds released to NYDC were applied on Dr Chishimba’s expenses against a Board Meetings budget of K154, 710.
‘You will recall that in our letter of 18th August 2014 to you, we provided you with evidence alleging that over 32% of the NYDC funding received for seven months from January to July in 2014 had been spent on Dr Chishimba totaling K102, 000.00 and subsistence allowances totaling K120, 564.91. 4. That contrary to Treasury and Financial management Circular no. 8 of 2012, the NYDC overpaid Dr Chishimba,’
the letter read.
‘The Audit report notes as we had already reported to your office, that contrary to Section 13(2) of the Youth Act which provides that the Secretary of the Council shall be responsible for the administration of the day to day affairs of the Council, from November 2013 to August 2014, the Chairman undertook the roles of the Council Secretary who was supposed to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Council.’
TIZ noted that in the 1 hour 30 minutes meeting held with the PS and her several directors on Friday 19th June 2015, she requested for more time to attend to the matters raised. TIZ informed the PS that it would give her a 48 hour ultimatum to act on the findings but she requested for more time.
TIZ clearly pointed out during the meeting that her continued failure on her part as Controlling Officer to act on the reports from NYDC would compel TIZ to demand that the appointing authority in this case the Republican President should dismiss her for her failure to act on what was taking place at NYDC to prevent further public funds wastages.
In view of the above, TIZ in the ultimatum letter to the PS has given her a 72 hours ultimatum to take appropriate action as controlling officer to prevent further public funds wastages at NYDC.
The 72 hours notice takes effect on Tuesday 23th June 2015 and expires at 17 hours on Thursday 25th June 2015.
If no action is taken by her office, TIZ shall mount a vigorous campaign to have her dismissed as Controlling Officer for failure to act to protect public funds wastages at NYDC.