Caritas Zambia says the latest findings by the Auditor General’s Office shows the highest financial indiscipline that should not be tolerated by any tax payer in Zambia.
In a statement, Caritas Zambia says it is greatly concerned on the current revelations by the Auditor General where millions of public funds were either misused or pocketed without following laid down financial regulations.
“We wonder how controlling Officers from the Ministries involved can allow, K115,350,860 of irregular payments, K251,523,804 of undelivered goods, K12,659,892 unretired accountable Imprest and K 558,449 unaccounted funds,” the statement read.
It said Public Servants and Policy makers are stewards of Zambia’s Public resources and that abrogation of financial laws with impunity as stated by the 2015 Auditor General’s report, resulting in revenue loss and financial misuse, demands action not words of reprimand.
“In addition to this sad state of affairs, there is the question of money laundering and other financial crimes. Not too long ago, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) reported about $3 billion as having been laundered or stolen from the economy.”
“This really compounds the problem and government must take stronger measures in protecting public finances in Zambia. Over the years, the country has been losing billions of kwacha which have been report by the Auditor General’s office but government has never taken any practical action to stop this perennial financial irregularities.”
It said the Auditor General’s last reports denounced management problems, but government has not acted on any of the recommendations which it said is not normal.
“This continued mis-management of public resource if not curtailed will undermine the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals and will continue to damage the social and economic fabric of our society. At the same time, the continued diversion of funds will continue affecting the provision of key services such as health, education and developmental projects.”
Caritas Zambia hopes the PF government stands on the principles that civil servants are appointed on merit through open competition rather than patronage and expect that the government institute disciplinary measures and take action on the revelations of the Auditor General report.
“We demand that the Government confirm publicly what measures and actions it will put in place to ensure that such financial misuse does not occur again. In addition, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) should play their role in bringing those found culpable to account for their actions.”
Caritas Zambia further implored the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committees to hold government to account for its actions and intentions with regards to the AG revelations.
“Parliament should re-assess its oversight mechanism and ensure that its recommendations are implemented. Most importantly, those officers responsible for loss of public resources should be held to account for their omissions or commissions. Political patronage should not be allowed to provide impunity to those responsible for loss of public funds.”