President Edgar Lungu says he sympathises with the plight of the Zambia Red Cross Society whose properties have allegedly been ‘ looted ‘ by people entrusted to manage the society.
President Lungu has on this score said the alleged looters should be brought to book to account for the resources.
President Lungu said its imperative that the truth behind the mismanagement and alleged corruption and sale of the society’s assets is ascertained.
The Head of State has since challenged journalists to investigate the matter into the alleged sale of properties belonging to the Zambia Red Cross Society.
“What has happened to the media? Check who mismanaged the resources” asked President Lungu.
Speaking when he held a virtual meeting with officials from the Zambia Red Cross Society, President Lungu said he’s saddened that the society has been mismanaged and its properties allegedly looted.
He implored the Zambia Red Cross to speak up and lobby Parliament to change laws to enable the Society bring before the courts people that mismanaged the organisation and looted its assets.
“ I therefore assure you as the Zambia Red Cross Society officials that I will do everything possible in my power as Head of State and Patron to help revamp the society, “ he said.
The President who urged the Society that it has a duty to cry foul when things are going wrong, said he will consult extensively relevant legal authorities to see how best Zambia Red Cross Society can be rescued and revived.
It has been learnt that some people entrusted with the management of Zambia Red Cross Society are allegedly looting the society’s property for K4 billion valued at K12.
Earlier, Zambia Red Cross Society President Frackson Ngosa complained to President Lungu that the organisation has struggling with high levels of debt.
Mr Ngosa appealed to President Lungu to explore ways to give relief to the Zambia Red Cross which owes the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) K2.5 million in taxes and K3.6 million to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) in contributions.
In response, President Lungu said that he could not write off the said taxes as government needs the money to support critical areas such as health, and education .
He further urged the Zambia Red Cross Society to engage relevant authorities at the ZRA and NAPSA to find an amicable solution.
And International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) President Francesco Rocca has urged President Lungu to seriously consider rescuing the Zambia Red Cross Society from total collapse.
Mr Rocca represented by former Secretary General of Red Cross Society of Kenya Abbas Gullet said looting and mal-administration has brought the Zambia Red Cross Society to its knees.
He also urged President Lungu to consider disbanding the Zambia Red Cross Society as a drastic alternative measure which has worked in Liberia and Sudan in efforts of reviving the society.
Dr Abbas presented a book to President Lungu on 50 years of Red Cross Society in Kenya , which was handed over to Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga , to deliver to the Head of State.
Zambia Red Cross Society Secretary General Kaitano Chungu also presented the society’s five year action plan for 2021 – 2025, and a cap, ornamental plate among others.