Transparency International Zambia has commenced the implementation of a short-term project that seeks to monitor the prudent management of donations for COVID-19 in order to promote transparency, accountability and integrity in their management.
The project, whose implementation commenced in July 2020 is funded by USAID through the National Democratic Institute, Zambia Political Participation and Leadership program, and has the ultimate goal of ensuring that the COVID-19 emergency response in Zambia is anchored on principles of transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels.
TIZ Executive Director Maurice Nyambe says in implementing this project, his Organisation is focusing both on the donations that have been made public through the media, but is also engaging the Ministry of Health for any additional donations that may have been made.
“Thus far, we have received good cooperation from the Ministry and our engagement with them concerning the project has been cordial and underpinned by a mutual desire to ensure that all donations made towards the COVID-19 response are managed prudently”, he said.
Mr Nyambe has commended that Ministry for the open-door policy they have exhibited so far as it is cardinal to the successful implementation of the project.
“We believe that the Ministry’s openness thus far shows that civil society and government entities can collaborate around common causes such as what our project seeks to achieve. Our hope is that the Ministry of Health will continue to exhibit this openness even when it comes to other matters that are of public interest”, added Mr Nyambe.
Speaking at a media briefing today, Mr Nyambe said TIZ is aware that the Ministry’s task in leading the COVID-19 response is not an easy one, but are very optimistic that with support coming from various stakeholders, the fight against COVID-19 in Zambia will be won.
“Our clarion call goes to the Zambian people to take the lead on an individual level and supplement government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19. In the same vein, we also wish to implore senior government officials to adhere to the same prevention measures that have been put in place”, he said.
Mr Nyambe said TIZ is concerned that there has recently been a number of cases where government officials have flouted the regulations related to mass gatherings, and we call on them to put a stop to that.
He said Zambians should be on the lookout and report any abuse of the COVID-19 donations because they are meant to save lives and not selfish interests.
Mr Nyambe said it is a well-known fact that abusing resources meant to fight the pandemic reduces the chances of us winning the fight against COVID-19, and this is why we insist that it is the duty of every well-meaning Zambian to report the abuse of these funds where such abuse is observed.