Accounting irregularities amounting to over K2.6 billion in Ministries revealed by the Auditor General’s office

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Accountant General Dr DICK CHELLAH SICHEMBE - making a presentation on the Public Finance Act, No 1, 2018 @ Protea Hotel in Chisamba
Auditor General Dick Sichembe

The Auditor General’s Office in its audit of government payroll for the financial years ended 31st December 2017 to 2021 has revealed accounting related irregularities in amounts totaling over 2.6 billion kwacha.

Auditor General Dick Sichembe disclosed that over nine thousand, eight hundred (9,800) ghost workers from nineteen (19) government ministries were paid 7.7 million Kwacha between 2017 and 2021.

“The institutions had not yet accounted for the officers in that they were not known,” Mr Sichembe reviewed

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka today, Mr Sichembe highlighted that three (3) ministries had 87 people who diverted salaries amounting to 10 million kwacha into their personal accounts or accounts for people who are not civil servants.

Mr Sichembe added that 25 officers from 4 institutions irregularly drew double salaries in amounts totaling to K967,411.

The Auditor General further added that 22,485 officers in 20 institutions were misplaced and paid salaries amounting to over 944 million kwacha.

“Meaning that an officer is drawing a salary from a pay point where they are not providing a service,” The Auditor General added

Dr Sichembe cited that 18 government institutions had recruited over 13 thousand people without treasury authority while the Ministry of Education introduced 299 teachers on the payroll who received salaries in amounts totaling over 3 million kwacha without authority from the Teaching Service Commission.

“Ministry of Education also upgraded the salary scale of 539 teachers without authority from the Teaching Service Commission costing the government 2.5 million kwacha,” Mr Sichembe said

Mr Sichembe noted that following a Presidential directive, the office of the Auditor General will be transformed into a more robust and effective institution, which is a supreme institution that ensures the promotion of transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.

“We will call or bring to account those who are entrusted in managing the financial resources of the country,” Mr Sichembe said

The Auditor General alluded that their institution will work closely with the Controlling Officer and other institutions to ensure that the issues which the President has raised, which is misappropriation of funds, are addressed.

“That will be our thrust, as we intend to have meetings with all the Controlling Officers so that we charge the way forward on how to address these challenges that we have had,” he said

He further noted that their institution’s concentration and focus will be on the performance ordered, as this is value for money, thus a performance audit of value for money will be conducted to see whether the costs that have been incurred under various programmes reflect the value for money.

“As you are aware the country has gone into transformation in terms of new infrastructure, we therefore need to be cost conscious as a people, because of the challenges that we are facing,” he noted

Mr Sichembe alluded that, as the Auditor General’s office, they will ensure that they follow each and every kwacha, wherever the funds will be allocated as this will help to ensure that the funds have been applied for the intended purpose and for the benefit of the country.

“Those that will be found wanting, will surely be exposed, as that is our thrust and my colleagues at the office, they all understand our vision which is to ensure that we hold professionalism and we have no compromise on integrity, that is how we are going to address these issues,” Mr Sichembe stated

And Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee Chairperson, Warren Mwambazi has urged Law Enforcement Agencies to follow up on the recommendations and cases raised by the Auditor General’s office.

“And those involved should be brought to book,” Mr Mwambazi stated

19 COMMENTS

  1. I know he was the Accountant General, how can Dracula be the head of the blood bank? The person who is dealing with the financials becomes the one who is following the financial trail. Just tell me, how? Is he there in order to erase the financial irregularities that we have been preaching about PF ever since this government took that position? We have a problem here, if the current acting Auditor General is good enough, bring his name here as a starting point, bring his name here so that we ratify him. I personally don’t know him but I have read about him. And I want to be the first one to tell you that if he is a man of good standing, I will be the one to support him because we need this void to filled. Why are you scared?,” asked Nkombo.

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    • @Monsi, why not judge him by the fruits of his work rather than on innuendos and hearsays about him. If indeed he was corrupt, he shall be exposed. You can’t hide a pregnancy with your hand!

  2. Even amidst rampant financial mismanagement under PF, We had the likes of Hon Edify Hamukale who could go from 207 to 2021 without a single audit query even receiving an award from the Zambia Procurement ZPPA and auditor generals office for prudent financial management , That guy is a patriot!!!!. In the same vein, even with the abundance of Angels and prudent financial managers and good ministers under the UPND, mark my words, there will be a few rotten eggs of ministers that will cause shame on president HH , for example Kakubo at foreign affairs who receives calendars in June from the Chinese companies

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  3. You claim the money is lost, so find it. Because there is always a trail. Stop pushing hh agenda to tarnish our party. Fuseke

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    • Just admit that your government was invaded by termites, they were eating in each and every department, ministry, organization, including state house. That’s why the former first family have riches that are beyond their collective productivity or business acumen. Sit back and relax while we watch the names of culprits brought into the sunlight. What happens in the cover of darkness shall surely be exposed when dawn comes. It’s the New Dawn indeed!!

  4. My delight is that this could be the last time irregularities will ever be captured considering the high efficiency of the new government in office. Bravo!

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  5. Those figures are shocking. Loss of K650m per year (K54.2m/month)!
    It doesn’t take a thief to catch a thief. With all the sophistication, it takes a candid leader to upset this rottenness.
    Corruption, like inflation can’t be eliminated, but it can be felled to marginal levels.
    UPND have arested inflation. I have faith graft war will be won.

  6. One time I was very drunk and had to use the bathroom. My friend was using the only toilet in the house, so for some reason I decided to poop in the bathtub. I finished my business, but as I tried to get up I fell backward into the tub and into my own poop. In my drunken state, I turned on the shower to try to clean myself and the bathtub, but the shower drain got clogged, creating a giant poop bath that circled around me. Cleaning that up was not fun.

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  7. “Auditor General Dick Sichembe disclosed that over nine thousand, eight hundred (9,800) ghost workers from nineteen (19) government ministries were paid 7.7 million Kwacha between 2017 and 2021.”
    During PF eveyone of their thugs was on GRZ payroll…those were the Lazy Lungu lawless years!!

  8. Surely all these ghost workers had legal accounts with banks…its impossible to register fake accounts why dont you follow it up and get the monies back…some of these ghost workers are still in govt

    • Some employees who can’t be “captured” are termed ghost workers. Record keeping and accounting for manpower in GRZ is so poor.
      Can someone investigate these findings.

  9. Where was President Edgar Chagwa Lungu? For 7 years the country was on autopilot and lawlessness abounded everywhere. It was monkeys in the field as everyone helped themselves to that which did not belong to them. No wonder they were singing ‘Alebwelelapo.’ Lungu turned Zambia’s democracy into a rapacious kleptocracy.

  10. Very ironic indeed! The person who was the Accountant-General today revealing the irregularities of an administration he was part of not so long ago? And the funny thing is that these irregularities are from the year 2017. Where were they all this time? Now imagine what that amount of money could have done for the social sector

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    • My confusion as well! What I know is the Auditor General’s office conducts audits of all Government ministries every year and during the period 2017 to date the good Mr Sichembe has been part of this office and now after 5 years he’s revealing a “bombshell”! So why were these irregularities not discovered much earlier?

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