I made a commitment to read all the 419 pages of the latest report from the auditor general. The report must be the most eccentric document produced by the auditor general. Highlights and shocking figures in the report include but not limited to;
- The unretired accountable imprest for 2015 and 2016 look almost the same as if they are figures of the same year report.
- Irregular payments increased in 2015 to K 115,350,860 compared to 2014 which had only K 26,358,488.
- Amounts related to the failure to follow procurement procedures increased to K 35,701,492 in 2015 from only K 2,720,434 in 2014.
- Undelivered materials shockingly increased to an amazing K 251, 523,804 in 2015 from as low as K 522,904 in 2014. 5. Wasteful expenditure increased to K 39,854, 959 in 2015 from K 8,354,290 in 2014.
With the evidence above, I am sure I will not be wrong to conclude that the 2015 Auditor Generals’ report stinks corruption.
It is human to make mistakes in life as human beings. Even at individual level we make mistakes, some of them very costly and dangerous to our lives but the biggest mistake of all is to keep repeating the same mistakes. We must begin holding those we have entrusted with public funds accountable and ensure that funds are recovered. The bible in the book of Ezekiel 33:15 says “If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery (theft), and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”
The report indicate and prove that the government is loudly silent on the matters to do with fighting corruption and when they happen to react it’s all but lip service or even cosmetic approach. Because of this, corruption has since become a culture in our country. This is despite the fact that corruption is manifesting itself as the greatest enemy to humanity. To imagine that we get money on loan only to be misused in the manner described in the report under review is very unfortunate. Corruption will soon become the 21st century profession in Zambia, considering the rate, form and shape at which it is obtaining.
It is unimaginable for a country whose national budget is less than the Coca Cola Company expenditure on advertising alone to engage is such levels of misuse of funds by government. As a matter of fact, Zambia is currently in need of money, our treasury has no money to run the economy effectively. With the evidence presented in the report, we can only conclude that corruption is one of the major factors why the country is where it is today. Corruption, hinders sustainable development and must be tussled at all cost before its too late.
The fight against corruption in Zambia does not only need commitment from the government but a generation that is committed to wiping out the scourge
Corruption is principally a governance issue, a challenge to Zambia and a matter of urgency. The solution in fighting corruption does not entirely rest on punishing the offenders. The biggest problem is the financial management systems available in the different government departments and ministries. We must admit that we have weak and or poor systems in place. Weak system in institutions tempt the people working in there. Having proper systems in place means protecting the workers and also reduces chances of those implementing different projects from being corrupt.
We must quickly realise that corruption is one of the major obstacles in achieving sustainable development and its intricacy in manifestation and prevalence, makes it a salient element to address in order to achieve sustainable development. That said, the government must through the relevant authorities start working on developing financial management systems that will not only make it difficult for corruption to take place but also protect the workers who are currently exposed to the vice. Pushing for sustainable development without addressing core issues to do with corruption will produce results similar to that of a pretty girl with failed romance.
God bless Zambia.