Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe
Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe

Deputy speaker of the national assembly Catherine Namugala has directed that the Committee on Finance to deliver to the house a comprehensive statement on the social cash transfer scandal, which will include clarifications on whether the monies for the program went missing.

The Deputy Speaker said this when she delivered a ruling on a point of order raised by Mazabuka central member of parliament Garry Nkombo who wanted to know if Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe was in order to remain quite over the recent revelation in one of the Daily Nation that the missing money for the social cash transfer program is in fact safely kept in a ZANACO account.

In his point of order Mr. Nkombo reminded the house that the Minister of Finance had earlier indicated to the house and the country that government and the president had known about the missing funds for the social cash transfer program since June 2018 and preliminary investigations had been instituted which revealed that indeed the money was missing.

He wondered how the Minister of Finance could keep quite on the news reports by the Daily Nation that the money had been found.

In her ruling, Ms Namugala directed that since the Committee on Finance is already working on a statement regarding the Social Cash Transfer issue, the concerns raised by Mr. Nkombo should therefore be included and answered comprehensively.

The Daily Nation reported that the £2,762,196.68 for the social cash transfer programme which the British government accused Zambia of misusing, was intact in a Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) account, where it has been sitting since December 2017.

According to bank documents which the Daily Nation had sight of, DFID financial contribution to the social cash transfer disbursed in December, 2017 was still intact and was in the process of being given back to the donor once authorisation was granted by the Secretary to the Treasury.

The Daily Nation also said that contrary to media reports, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and the DFID have been discussing the issue of the donor’s financial support disbursed in December 2017, and at no time was mention of a freeze made.

The Daily Nation said that they had information that the money from the UK’s DFID which donors want refunded following revelations of
alleged SCT funds abuse, is still intact and sitting in a ZANACO account since it was transferred there in December 2017 by the Central Bank.

British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, in a tweet last week said his government had frozen all bilateral funding to the Zambian government in light of potential concerns and until audit results were known.

According to correspondence the DFID was availed a full report of the disbursements from the Ministry as well as a bank statement.

The donor organisation was also informed that its demand for a refund of its £2.7 million, would be effected once approval was given as per government requirement.

According to the Daily NAtion, other reports indicate that for instance, the September 2017 disbursement of £2,599,049, was given to Eastern, Central, Lusaka, Southern and Copperbelt provinces.

The British High Commissioner had earlier tweeted: Correct that UK frozen all bilateral funding to Zambian Govt in light of potential concerns until audit results known. #UKAid takes zero-tolerance approach to fraud & corruption.”

However bank and other documentation clearly shows the funds from DFID hit the donor account on November 6, 2017 from the Bank of Zambia.

The money is still in the Zambia National Commercial Bank donor account for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, where it was transferred last year in December 2017 and government is ready to effect the refund once approval is granted.

The money in question was disbursed in December 2017 as DFID’s financial support to the Social Cash Transfer, a programme which is 75 percent funded by government with the 25 percent balance coming from donors.

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69 COMMENTS

  1. … the money has been reimbursed.

    Desperation to get the funding back on…. this doesn’t seat well though? There’s actually a lot of suspicions…

    This Friday finding breads more questions than answers

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    • Soooo…. the zambia daily nation knows better than the president who fired a minister, the minister of finance and the donors. ok
      If they are correct, then it will further expose how incompetent this government is, that they can’t even trace money entrusted to them.

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    • Whosoever diggeth a pity, shall fall in it….and unfortunately Edgar and his cabinet are digging a deeper hole. Incompetence is like a pregnancy, you can cover up to a point, eventually is shows. Edgar has been a disaster and results speak for themselves

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    • My opinion is the fired minister kept the money in the account in the hopes no one will notice and then draw interest on the monies.

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    • Abra..kadabraa….the money is back !!
      No one stole the

      I hope not to hear this statement, therefore, no cover-up is happening. I want to be wrong

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    • Total nonsense coming from the Daily Nation the government should have been excited by now and quickly clarified the issue the fact that there has never been such a statement from GRZ tells you either the PF is brewing a spin on this matter or the Daily Nation Editor and proprietor has not repented from his thieving ways. The movement of such a large sum of money between the central bank and ZANACO should be “porridge” to trace both are highly organised and reputable. Is the Daily Nation also saying the Presidency and MoF are so incompetent that all these months they could not trace such a large sum of Money right before their eyes? How then can other institutions entrust them with finances in the future? It’s all too absurd and hogwash no wonder Margaret is embarrassed to issue a…

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    • Cont’d … How can a seasoned banker like herself fail to coordinate a team to trace this money. Which a tabloid paper with poor reporting standards managed to find? These missing funds have now negatively impacted our economy and the currency has now gone out of control. The PF without realizing it are being hard done by the Daily Nation. This report is not a favor but a killer punch

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    • @Real Olivia you could be right. Mr Michael Sata when he was minister of local government kept money meant for the Mezarf Housing project in Chilenje in Zanaco Bank and made personal interest before releasing it. This one of the reasons Mwanawasa resigned as VP. …FTJ didn’t do anything about it.

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    • The lies are catching up ..even the budget she wants to postpone it why? She initially stated that bilateral supplementary budget funding has not been frozen.

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    • The Real Olivia Pope Like a one president Sata did with funds for building of flats ( Apartments ). She forgot, or whom ever forgot this is the social media age. Accountability is automatic. Pay the British back their money.

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    • Lets all ask for the money trail to understand WHO, WHERE, WHEN and WHAT has happened. These connections could be part of a series financial transactions masking money laundering and tax evasion.

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    • Its all lies …just ask them to produce a statement of that account for the last 10 months …you will find that they have simply deposited money from Toll fees or some other taxpayers funds and deposited in the account like that crook Chilufya at MOH did to cover up.

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    • Where are our granular investigative journalists, this porridge. Give us the facts and statements, hopefully they not been moved or stolen.

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  2. Dont quote Daily Nation. Daily nation like Zwd, producing cheap propaganda. In 2016 zwd reported Litunga died in a car accident on his way to receive brown envelope from lungu.

    Nkombo should focus on dealing with upendi tribal life president who privatized Zambian companies

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    • Its funny you picked something that I don’t even remember seeing on ZWD…ZWD is merely a anti- ruling party Facebook page with no media ethos but they have credible leads, 70% of what the post has some truth it and Richard Sakala’s Daily Nation is a registered print press with its own agenda. If you had the Post which had a physical address with staff but the same govt crashed …today they are complaining about abuse of social media; its here to stay they only way to win the support of the people is to do the right thing as long as you are doing things in the dark ZWD will always thrive. As long as you have a President who cowers / shy away from Press Conferences and one to one TV interviews both international and local, social media will always thrive and fill in the blanks for him…

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  3. They would rather go after mumba and yet the thieves are busy galavanting our streets and even travelling to New York on tax payers money.

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    • Mumba stole money …he should do the time…stealing is a crime whether you are in govt or not whether you are Pastor or a former Veep.

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    • Jay so why has there been no conviction or legal process against the social fund thieves? Mumba was convicted and why waste our resourced going after him again and yet we have big fish to fry. Why waste our money over a convicted man..be reasonable and objective. We are a poor country why should we waste time on mumba when we have people who have stolen millions of pounds. Jay u are disappointing

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  4. The whole accounts department at the social welfare ministry ought to go. You cannot run a government department like this. And where is the permanent secretary in all this. Remember who kabanshi said stole the donations

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    • True. Much as we may accuse government of all sorts misdeeds, people are very sophisticated. How do you explain this. …a mere ambulance driver building a Nigerian type of mansion. ..where is the money coming from? In KK’s time people like these would have investigated and property handed over to government if they failed to explain the source of their funds.

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    • They wont go because there is bigger fish involved ….if this was that simple and we didn’t have a corrupt rotten govt, ACC would have already charged McPherson Chanda and the Minister with PS…the minister will as usual state that she has no jurisdiction over such matters talk to the PS.
      Why should the President meet the Head of DEC and ACC when they already gave him the report 6 months ago …he never met them when FIC Report was published. ..there is absolutely no political will to fight corruption as Lazy Lungu is a tool for corruption.

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  5. Look at these theives ,lungu and his gang of corrupt looters trying to cover their tracks and get aid reinstated ????

    They have seen the suspended aid was infact meant for dunnuna of the masses for with out which they will be found out as a totally useless GRZ only good at borrowing.. …

    What a bunch of theives we have incharge of this country…..

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  6. We want to hear from ZANACO.What’s the actual position concerning these funds? There’s no way a donor gives you some funds, they are deposited into a bank account, the donor and the people complaint about the misapplication of the same funds, a Minister loses her job over the same funds and after the damage has been done we are told the money has been lying in a bank account from last year!!……What kind of a country is this mwebantu?

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  7. Let us not waste time there is no money.When pipo are auditing they look into bank accounts and money spent.its not possible that auditors could issue such statements that money was missing if it was in the bank account.Useles—-s journalism from daily nation.This paper should be banned period even it supports PF.Its so shameful to have such a paper which will further damage the image of the country and the presidency of this country.I wonder if we have leaders in this country.Thugs are ruling Zambia bcoz it doesnt make pipo with five sense to behave in such mammer.Are u sure the president didn’t know that money was in the account?The minister was not aware?Guys Sakala the owner of daily nation should be locked up period

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  8. On this one Iam standing for Lungu. He relies on intelligent reports from different govt agencies before he make a decision. If it is true the money is laying in Zanaco account since December 2017 and all the entire govt machinery tasked to look after the security of the country could not have known the where abouts of the money, then Lungu has even a very big problem.It means even his own life is in great danger. It is time he hired the Scotland yard to do the forensic audit of govt finances and the mossad secrete service of Israel for his safety otherwise this is even more disastrous than the missing funds.

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  9. If what the Daily Nation reported is false, the donors would have issued a statement and denied it. Their silence means the money is there. It looks like Fergus made a blunder tweeting and alarming a lot of people unnecessarily instead of first engaging grz. As I said earlier, the AGs final report will set the record straight.

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    • “….It looks like Fergus made a blunder tweeting and alarming a lot of people unnecessarily instead of first engaging grz..”

      It was GRZ that could not account for the money ……how is it the British governments responsibility to look for the where abouts of money they gave you and are asking you to account for ???

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  10. Here is my far-fetched theory: the swindlers have enough cash to ACTUALLY refund and replace whatever is missing under duress. But then, this is a far-fetched theory.

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  11. ati “where it has been sitting since December 2017. Direct translation from Bemba to Chizungu. Monet can´t sit in a bank, awe ba LT naimwe, naine napapa

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  12. Under 5s were so excited that PF had looted the money and shouted all sorts of insults at the government now ZEEE.

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  13. Thanks GARRY NKOMBO, Thanks Madam Deputy Speaker. This is WHAT WE WANT FROM PARLIAMENT, TAKING THE EXECUTIVE TO TASK. Now can another MP ask the executive to EXPLAIN THE TERMS OF EACH AND EVERY CHINESE LOAN,NOTHING LIKE SPECIAL VEHICLE bla bla etc.. (which we don’t know what the vehicle is carrying)!! We want to be clear!!

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    • Now we are being called people from China’s first colony. Very shameful at the time when we are about celebrate independence. I am having second thoughts whether I should celebrate.

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  14. Don’t be duped that millions have been just sitting there and no one knew….we all know that paper reporting is a PF mouth piece used by the gang to dupe the masses…..if that money has been found, the pf gang of theives have realised that they need the aid reinstated.
    They use that aid as empowerment funds to get votes.

    The theives most likely parked that money hoping no one will notice missing funds…

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  15. That money being parked in an account hoping no one will notice and waiting for the right moment to plundder makes more sense than out right stealing.
    Out right stealing is not how PF steal. They steal by over inflating tenders or by hiding and diverting cash as seems in this case…..

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  16. This is window dressing and nothing more. These morons can stoop so low to come up with this bull crap. How can the President fire someone when the money is still intact? Does it mean that he is given wrong intel altogether? Just accept that economy has responded negatively to the withholding of donor funds and no amount of hullaballoo will prove otherwise. The budget to be presented this Friday is in limbo as the minister of finance is in a financial quagmire having factored the donor support in her budget. As things stand, they have lost direction and the are in a diabolical mood. CHIPANTENTEPANTE INDEED.

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  17. Here is my take on this matter.if one has bought a very expensive car and he has no money for duty, he will put it on special delivery and Park that car at home ,cover it with a tent till he finds ways of how crooked he can run away from paying tax and when he finds it he cerebrates of not the car will remain covered in tent not driven till he finds a solution.so this money sitting idol in Zanaco and Ireen Kabanshi and his team not knowing about it and being fired by his excellence is a total mediocre. Good job madam deputy speaker.let them explain what is happening otherwise its total incompetence.

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  18. Let them wait for the education fraud as well because that is another bomb shell. So are they bringing back all those that have been fired?”…“And for almost five months donors were demanding for the money, why didn’t they just say the money is in ZANACO? And why were the beneficiaries not paid when money is allegedly lying in the bank?”
    The authorities have tried to put a spin to the fraud by telling their image builders that the money was intact in a ZANACO account and demanding that the British High Commissioner apologises.
    Jona and his long sticky fingers

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  19. My take on this issue is that this £2.7m is money already given by the british but are now demanding to be refunded before it is misapplied like the other $4m was. So, there is no money that has been “found” as the spin doctors would want us to believe.

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  20. Someone needs to do their homework in these so-called Banks. My colleague transferred all her pension funds from South Africa to a named Bank in Zambia. That money stayed in an unknown account for months until the owner threatened to sue the named bank then suddenly, the money appeared on the scene. Someone in Zanaco knows something about this. Until this terrible conduct is tackled to its roots we will continue to be embarrassed like this forever. Who is responsible for funds disbursements? People must be level headed and tackle this problem professionally. We cannot continue to throw mud at the head of state each time something goes wrong in Govt. We must only do that when investigations have been conducted and someone is found wanting. Otherwise we are killing our economy by these…

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  21. Continued. Otherwise we are killing our economy by these unsubstatntiated rantings. Those of you who are ignorant stop killing our economy by careless talk.

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  22. Rubbish!!! Catch the thieves, no matter how high they are. Richard Sakala must either be taking us for nincompoops, or is seeking a commission from the dirty money.

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  23. In my view bloggers have missed the point on this issue. Remember UK isn’t the only donor to the SCT, others are Irish and Swedish govts. However, the money from other donors is what has been misapplied by ministry of community and ZAMPOST whilst UK donated money is still intact in the bank. President Lungu was furnished with correct report about misappropriation of funds, and Daily Nation is looking at the matter from a narrow angle.

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  24. Bring in Scotland Yard to investigate and give us comfort, ww can’t trust these corrupt thieves. I magine if this was true that money did not go missing, then on what basis did tge Presidwnt fire an innocent minister. Was he uaing her as a scape goat to cover up his incompetent advisors and investigators?

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  25. flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists Corruption scandals: Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    Hahaha very fun!

    So these low IQ people can’t even come up with a plausible propaganda and this is the best they could come up with. Even funnier is the gullibility of Zambia… look at the comments above and see how even the supposedly educated can fall for such cheap and low budget script… unbelievable!

    Let’s face, Daily Nation is no African Confidential… they can’t even come close to The Post so they couldn’t come up with anything better, let alone an intelligent lie.

    Just think about this, they said Lungu commissioned an investigation and after many months the report only landed on his desk the day Africa Confidential exposed the scandal. So why didn’t the investigation trace the money?

    Doesn’t add up, please try harder next time. Lungu putting money back that he…

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    • flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists Corruption scandals: Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

      …Lungu putting money back that he stole from the Zambian people won’t exonerate him. Please don’t double up on this scandal, especially with the donors (free advice).

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  26. i don’t believe the money being talked about is the same as the one that has gone missing. what are the investigators saying.

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  27. First of all daily nation or someone at zanaco needs to be jailed for gaining access into other accounts which are private. Secondly since the president already knew this money was misapplied and has already fired some people over the same yet the daily nation is saying it was never stolen so either the president or the daily nation is lying
    Lies have short legs and one of them will be caught.

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