Transparency International Zambia says Defence Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale must resign for allegedly involving himself in corruption.
TIZ Executive Director Wesley Chibamba said it is improper for Mr Mwale as a serving public official to continue rendering for public contracts using his company.
Mr Chibamba said reevaluations that Mr Mwale’s company was awarded a contract to build a Maternity Annex at Kabushi Clinic but failed to complete the works are saddening.
He was speaking on Tuesday when he featured on Frank on Hot, a radio programme hosted by veteran broadcaster Frank Mutubila.
“That issue makes very sad reading. It is sad that people in these privileged offices can abuse their authority and award themselves tenders, that shouldn’t be happening because they are using peculiarly advantage and the law is clear on that,” Mr Chibamba.
He added, “In other jurisdictions, if you are a public official, you are not supposed to participate in public tenders for that very reason because you exert a certain level of influence over tender evaluation committees because if they see your company tendering for the contract, they will be thinking there will be repercussions if they don’t award it to you. Nigeria is one example, they have stopped public officers from tenders for public tenders but here in Zambia you find that a Permanent Secretary somewhere has a company and that the corruption and resource drain happens.”
Meanwhile, Financial Analyst Blessings Kafwanka has called for the dismissal of Mr Mwale.
Mr Kafwanka has also commended Kabushi Member of parliament Bowman Lusambo for exposing the contractor that failed to deliver the maternity annex at Kabushi hospital.
“The contractor was compelled to move on site at titanic speed to complete the works. From the video circulating, you can easily tell from the freshly painted walls, paint buckets and droppings, the wheel burrows and other building tools still in the rooms that the works where done in a hurry,” Mr Kafwanka said.
“With the challenges the country is facing, we cannot allow selfish politicians to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. We need proper accountability.”
He added, “This explains why the Auditor General’s report makes revelations every year about undelivered materials and other glaring irregularities but the relevant authorities are always reluctant to act.”
“How many other companies owned by politically exposed individuals have failed to deliver?”
He stated, “In the same manner government dismissed 12 Accountants from various Ministries after the release of the 2017 Auditor General’s report; action must also be taken in this matter. We must not be selective in dispensing justice. When the 12 accountants were fired, the auditor general reported a 98% decrease in misappropriation of funds in 2018.”
He said dismissing Mr Mwale is the only way government can demonstrate its commitment towards promoting fiscal discipline in the way public resources are utilized.
“His firm together with other suppliers who fail to deliver materials after being paid in full must be blacklisted and legal action taken to recover tax payers’ money.”
“We cannot afford to allow this to pass at the expense of the poor Zambian women who have been deprived of a Maternity health facility in Kabushi.”