THE Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) has implored Government to avoid spending tax payers money on wishful and wasteful undertakings such as the appointing the commission enquiry into the political violence which took place during after the 2016 general elections.
CSPR Advocacy Communication Programme Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma said in a statement yesterday that the current fiscal deficit the Government was experiencing one would not imagine that government would prioritize the setting up of a commission of enquiry whose main aim was to foster political expedience at the expense of national development.
He said CSPR was disheartened and in deep shock to see that even in light of the growing budgetary deficit manifested by delays in paying salaries for public service workers, failure to complete infrastructure development projects,prolonged delays of funding to most Government departments meant to finance development activities.
He said Government programmes could still find pleasure to engage in another wasteful undertaking by appointing a commission of enquiry whose objective can only be understood and appreciated by the appointing authority.
“CSPR believes there is no sufficient justification to warrant the appointment of a commission of enquiry into the political violence which took place during and after the 2016 general elections because the country has the Zambia Police service whose job is to bring about law and order in the country and the 2016 general elections were not exceptional,” he said.
Mr Nkhoma said It was long held view that Zambia Police had the capacity to decisively deal with the perpetrators of political violence which erupted at the time but for unknown reasons the Zambia Service grew cold feet and failed to so more especially if the cases involved the ruling party.
He said the Government should have therefore asked the office of the Public Protector (OPP) to investigate the failure by police to maintain law and order during the general elections in selected parts of the country as opposed to appointing a commission of enquiry on flimsy grounds when we have institutions which could do that work.
Mr Nkhoma said CSPR called upon President Edgar Lungu to extend his good will of appointing commission of enquiries to sectors which would help the people of Zambia understand and appreciate how public funds were been utilized in light of the revelations by the Auditor General’s report for 2015 which shows a general increase in abuse of public funds meant to finance development.
“We therefore ask President Edgar Lungu to appoint an enquiry to investigate how the Eurobond Funds were used especially that most of the infrastructure development Projects for which the funds were borrowed have either stalled or not implemented a clear sign that these some of the funds could have been diverted for personal gain,” he said.
He said projects which have stalled include rehabilitation of the railway lines, rehabilitation of the Solwezi- Chingola Road, Chipata-Chandiza-Vubwi Road and Lundazi Chama Road among others.
He said areas where the projects have been completed Government has not yet paid the contractors their money for the work done.