EASTERN Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Patrick Mwanawasa said the new infrastructure development which Government has put in place was understaffed.
Mr Mwanawasa said in a statement today that the new infrastructure developments does not yet have the necessary equipment to ensure systems of accountability were effective hence the increase in unvouched expenditure of K 349 million.
He explained that the irregularities pertaining to undelivered materials were not a true reflection of what the facts.
Mr Mwanawasa said Zambia have gone through two elections which contributed towards the irregularities.
“ For example, most SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprise) with Government contracts rely on down payments to execute their jobs and the financial year in question has been characterised by strange events as such, resources have been truncated to facilitate for only the bare necessities of Government operations thus hampering the delivery of goods and services to the public,”he said.
He said irregular payments which had been reported in the Auditor General’s report fails to highlight the fact that the country experienced an unprecedented power crisis and to ensure that Government activities were not disrupted the state was forced to work outside the approved budgetary framework by sourcing for power to match the overwhelming demand .
“In conclusion, What the AG’s report has revealed is normal given the unprecedented levels of development the country has experienced. We are very fortunate to have a decisive leadership which responds beyond the call of duty in such strange times, had it been a different Government we could have been worse off,”he said.
Meanwhile Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has released the following statement calling to move call on Law enforcement agencies to quickly identify all the culprits and have them arrested.
In a statement released to the media by Goodwell Lungu the Executive Director, TIZ also called c all Controlling officers to identify perpetrators of misuse of public funds to be dismissed or suspended.
Below is the full statement
Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) is demanding for immediate arrests and dismissals of all government officials cited in all forms of irregularities cited in the 2015 audit report irregularities.
TIZ is alive to the fact that much as there have been slight improvements in some areas there are still high levels of unaccounted for and financial mismanagement of public funds which the report has clearly outlined coming from some parastatal companies and other statutory bodies.
TIZ would like to note that it is worrying that the country has continued to lose huge sums of money at the expense of disgruntled and incompetent public officers who have continued not to account for public resources at the expense of many Zambians. Surely, how does one comprehend with undelivered materials jumping from K522,905 in 2014 to K251,523,804.
It simply means that government in 2016 paid K251million for materials which were not delivered at all and no action is taken. As far as TIZ is concerned, this is a simple matter that doesn’t even need wasting more time on long investigations.
In order for people to understand the revelations coming the Auditor General here is a table that gives us some indications on where things have improved and worsened. See attached for detailed analysis;
From the table we noted that the office of the Auditor General’s Report reveal an overall tone of poor financial and operational performance in most of the audited entities.
As TIZ, we therefore call on Law enforcement agencies to quickly identify all the culprits and have them arrested.
We also call on all Controlling officers to identify perpetrators of misuse of public funds to be dismissed or suspended. If these drastic measures are not taken, unscrupulous civil servants will continue to abuse public resources as they will undoubtedly know that even law enforcement agencies have gone to sleep in taking action.
Transparency International Zambia