Zambia’s Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has urged its members being investigated for alleged corruption at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and Office of the Auditor General to fully cooperate with the investigative agencies and law enforcement officers in providing information. In a statement, ZICA President Cecilia Zimba said that the institute upholds and promotes the highest levels of professional ethics and integrity among its members while supporting the government in the fight against corruption and other financial crimes.
“ZICA has not received any official communication or complaint involving any of its members in the public sector from either the government or its members. However, we call on our members being investigated to fully cooperate with the investigative agencies and law enforcement officers in providing information,” said Mrs. Zimba.
She added that the institute will continue to offer support and solidarity to its members provided they observe professional ethics, integrity, and strict adherence to the provisions of the public finance management act in the discharge of their duties. The ZICA president also reiterated the institute’s commitment to the fight against corruption and other financial crimes.
“We await the outcome of the investigations before the institute can take a position on the matter,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has confirmed that there are ongoing investigations at the Ministry resulting from a special audit of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) for the period 2018 to 2021, which revealed irregularities in the payment of allowances to some staff. In a statement issued by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, the Ministry said that some Permanent Secretaries and Directors have been moved to other offices to facilitate progress on the investigations and reduce the chances of sitting officials delaying the investigations.
“The Ministry of Finance and National Planning remains fully functional despite the staff movements indicated above because measures have been taken to assign duties to other public officials in place of those who have been redeployed from the Ministry,” said Dr. Musokotwane.
He also assured the public that the Ministry will fully cooperate with investigative wings and provide them with any information required in the course of their investigations.
“Going forward, the investigations are fully under the control of the law enforcement agencies in line with their mandates. They will, therefore, be informing the nation on the progress they are making and the way forward. In this regard, the law enforcement agencies will have the full support of the Government as usual and we should all give them space to conduct their affairs professionally,” he added.
The Ministry’s confirmation of ongoing investigations at the Ministry follows queries from stakeholders, the media, and concerned members of the public on reports of investigation against some public officials. The Minister’s statement on the matter is likely to bring some relief to the public as it demonstrates the government’s commitment to fighting corruption and other financial crimes.
ZICA in its wisdom convinced the government to create the position of accountant-general at the Ministry of Finance in order to act as a check on embarrassing misappropriation of public funds. Government listened and acted as as advised by ZICA. Where’s the check on misuse of public funds? ZICA action against its members should they be found wanting is eagerly awaited.
Thats the kind of talk I want to hear Mrs Zimba. All Zambian professional organisations, Public and civil service departments, should be urging members and staff to fully cooperate with investigative agencies and law enforcement officers in providing information to investigators. Then we can start anticipating a clean Zambia
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