ZNFU President Dr. Evelyn Nguleka
ZNFU President Dr. Evelyn Nguleka

The Zambia National Farmers Union is appealing to farmers and other stakeholders to remain calm as fraud investigations at its Headquarters commence.

In a statement, ZNFU President Dr Evelyn Nguleka confirmed that officers from the Drug Enforcement Commission had visited the ZNFU offices on Tuesday and commenced their investigations.

She said the ZNFU Secretariat will remain operational and continue to serve its membership during the investigations.
“Reports of allegations of fraud and theft at the ZNFU offices have been circulating in the media for some time, arising from a leaked preliminary audit report of an audit that was conducted on ZNFU by EMM Corporate Partners,” she said.

She added, “the matters relating to the audit report were subsequently reported to the Drug Enforcement Commission by unidentified people. The DEC visited the ZNFU offices on February 9th 2016 and commenced investigations.”

“At this point, the ZNFU Board would like to appeal to all its members and stakeholders to remain calm during these investigations. Our members, as well as cooperating partners will be updated on new developments regarding this matter.”
Dr Nguleka said the ZNFU Board reiterates that there is an ongoing audit process at ZNFU that needs to run its full course.

“When the audit is completed, the ZNFU Board and Council will ensure appropriate actions or decisions are taken and made in line with binding regulations. As things stand now, the current audit process is yet to be concluded.”

She noted that the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants has been engaged to interrogate the professional conduct of the auditor and the auditee and to review the entire audit process and findings with a view to appointing an independent auditor to be agreed upon between the cooperating partners and ZNFU.

“ZNFU has been in close liaison with and consultation with cooperating partners and will be holding update meetings with partners to facilitate the smooth completion of the audit in a mutually agreed manner,” she said.

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  1. In a normal transparent and objective manner that depicts good governance, the board and/or especially the three people implicated in the audit report should step down to pave way for that independent investigations. With the three people remaining in their positions while the investigations are carried out, the possibility of an unfair and unobjective result is high. If this investigation has to be fair, transparent and objective, the three should ideally step down until the investigation is completed. This is for their own reputation too, to show that they have nothing to hide. All these small flaws like failure to step down in the midst of an investigation shows an element of truth in the infamous audit report that corporate governance really failed at ZNFU.



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