The Office of the Auditor-General has tasked journalists to be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and report on all audit findings and their implications on service delivery, national development, and poverty reduction.
Zambia’s Auditor General, Dick Sichembe, has called on journalists to endeavor to highlight issues raised in the audit report and make known to the public what is cited in the report, as they carry out their reporting.
Mr. Sichembe explained that the office of the Auditor-General has been mandated under the constitution of Zambia, to provide an oversight role over the management of public resources, thereby providing assurance to the citizens, on how resources are being utilized.
He said his office is mandated role requires that after the report is published, members of the public have the right to know what is explained in the audit report, which can only be achieved if journalists understand the contents of the report.
He called on the Media as the fourth estate in governance to set the agenda and publish accurately what has been released in the audit report, thereby elevating the conversation around the management of public resources in the country.
“There are lots of revelations coming out of the reports which require further probing and analysis,” he said.
He also reaffirmed the government’s resolve to achieve sustainable development through the effective management of national resources.
He cited President Hakainde Hichilema’s resolve to cut on all wastage of public resources during the thirteenth National Assembly, where he emphasized on prudent management of resources.
Mr. Sichembe urged journalists to take advantage of the parliamentary committee sittings, that provide queries from the Auditor General’s office, on issues raised, and probe and analyze findings in the cited reports.
Mr. Sichembe assured the public during a media sensitization workshop in Lusaka that his office is backed by the constitution of Zambia and does not receive any interference from any offices.
He however acknowledged that his office gets demotivated whenever public resources are misused, action is not taken to prosecute the offender.
“It is indeed frustrating if audits are conducted and no action is taken on the offender,” he said.
ZANIS reports that the workshop is aimed at equipping journalists with an opportunity to understand the operations of the office of the Auditor-General.