President Edgar Lungu has directed Permanent Secretaries and heads of public institutions to put in place stringent measures to effectively prevent loss of funds in public institutions.
President Lungu says he is disturbed by the misappropriation and misapplication of public funds and other assets highlighted in the Auditor General’s report carried out on an annual basis.
He said it is unacceptable that over five million kwacha was unaccounted for in 2014, while the amount increased to over eight million kwacha in 2015.
The President said this in a speech read on his behalf by Vice-President Inonge Wina during the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day in Lusaka.
He called on the Anti-Corruption Commission and other law enforcement agencies to double their efforts by being proactive in cases of criminal nature as revealed in the auditor general’s reports.
The head of state also cautioned the law enforcement agencies to ensure that recoveries of embezzled funds and other assets are realised.
Mr Lungu added that it is only when the benchmark of preventing the loss and waste of public resources is met that achieving Sustainable Development Goals and the vision 2030 will become a reality.
He reiterated that government will not be selective in holding the corrupt accountable regardless of their status in society.
The President also disclosed that the Anti-Corruption Commission and other stakeholders involved in the anti-corruption fight have almost concluded the process of reviewing the national anti-corruption policy.
The head of state also urged the national steering committee responsible for overseeing the implementation of the policy to ensure that past lessons are taken into account when the new policy is formulated.
The President, however, called for concerted effort from all stakeholders during the implementation of the new policy.
And Anti-corruption Chairperson Justice Timothy Kabalata noted that corruption is a major impediment to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
He said the fight against corruption should remain top priority if the country has to record development, peace, and security.
And Transparency International Zambia President Lee Habasonda advised government to invest more resources in the fight against corruption.
Mr Habasonda further pointed out that there is need for law enforcement agencies to work together with the Auditor General’s office to successfully prosecute cases of abuse of public funds highlighted in the auditor General’s reports.
At the same event, African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption (APNC) Chairperson Cornelius Mweetwa pledged support to government initiatives meant to strengthen the fight against corruption.
He also urged politicians to be role models in society by desisting from any forms of corrupt practices especially during elections.