Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ministry of Finance Addresses Concerns Over Missing Funds Forfeited by Faith Musonda, but doubts persist

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The Ministry of Finance and National Planning has released a statement in response to growing concerns regarding the whereabouts of over K65 million that was forfeited by Faith Musonda and intended for disbursement to students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) for bursaries. The recent audit report from the Office of the Auditor General has raised questions about the handling of these funds, leading to public scrutiny and allegations of possible misappropriation.

In its statement, the Ministry of Finance acknowledges the audit report’s findings and assures the public of its commitment to transparency and accountability. The ministry reiterates that the funds, totaling K65,332,446 million and US$57,950, were received from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and subsequently transferred to the Consolidated Account (Control 99) at the Bank of Zambia, in accordance with the mandate vested in it by the Public Financial Management Act Number 1 of 2018 and the Forfeiture of Proceeds Act, 2010.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance confirms that the disbursed funds were then allocated to the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board (HELSB) through the Ministry of Education. These funds were intended to supplement existing treasury funding, and a total of K90.07 million was allocated to HELSB in 2022. As a result, 2,780 students were awarded scholarships, contributing to their educational aspirations.

The Ministry of Finance and National Planning reiterates its commitment to an open-door policy of public engagement and emphasizes its determination to keep citizens and stakeholders appropriately informed on financial and economic matters. It pledges to address the concerns raised regarding the missing funds and assures the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted to ascertain the truth and ensure full accountability.

And Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima earlier clarified that the K65, 333, 046, which the state collected from Ms Musonda was used for school bursaries at the University of Zambia, as directed by President Hakainde Hichilema.

Mr Syakalima explained that even when the money was diverted to the University of Zambia, his ministry through the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board sourced for more funding totaling slightly above K90 million to assist more vulnerable students.

The ACC and the Minister of education were responding to a story item that was published in the News Diggers edition of Monday June 5, 2023, that carried a headline, leaked letter dazzles Attorney General, exposes ACC; Faith Musonda’s K65 million kwacha missing.

However, amid the Ministry’s statement, Antonio Mourinho Mwanza, in his capacity as a critic of the Anti-Corruption Commission and PF media director, has voiced his skepticism. Mwanza alleges that the funds, despite being surrendered by the ACC to the Ministry of Finance, have gone missing. He highlights the audit report’s revelation that the money did not reflect on Control 99, indicating potential diversion or theft.

Citing relevant laws, Mwanza points out the prescribed procedures for the administration and management of government funds, emphasizing the need for adherence to financial regulations. He questions whether the Ministry of Finance can provide proof that the funds were deposited correctly and used as intended for student bursaries. Mwanza further asserts that if the Ministry fails to demonstrate compliance with the law, the audit report’s claim of stolen funds holds true.

38 COMMENTS

  1. These ones are more corrupt than patriotic front. The scandals are just too much looking at a period of time they have been in power.

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    • The money collected from Faith was hard cash…KWACHA and Dollars? Where was this cash deposited? Did ACC hand over the hard cash to the ministry or was it deposited in the ACC account? Was deposited at Bank of Zambia?

    • How GRZ moved the money is irrelevant………….

      The department that was to receive the money has confirmed receiving the money…………

      Students were sponsored as promised……..

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    • 1d0ts! You should have been questioning the $Billions which were stolen in day light during pf reign of terror.

  2. A Shibukombe (marriage go between) overstated the bride price to the young man he was representing with a view to take the difference between what was actually charged and the figure he created. That’s our nature. We can’t just leave money alone.

    • There he goes again this one hiding behind parables like a snail in a shell after you sprinkle salt on it

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    • #Spaka by sheer coincidence I am going to the DRC for consultancy work at one of the mines not as Congolese but as a full blooded Zambian. If you don’t see me on Lt, it’s not because of you coward but because I will be busy.

    • The only issue here is the accounting documents completed to vouch for the transfer of the money by the ACC to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance confirmation of the receipt of the money. The auditor-general is right to ask and the accountant-general should provide the answer.

  3. What was recovered from Faith was hard cash, therefore it ought to be deposited at some bank before being transferred. The statement doesn’t answer that. The audit report says it didn’t reflect on Control 99, so how was the money conveyed? This might explain why the UPND panicked to the extent of arresting Dick Sichembe and dismantling his chambers. In the meantime, audits that were illegally commissioned for the Intelligence and other security wings by HH’s friends haven’t yielded anything. I expected him to address that in his presentation of graphs but he was very quiet. What kind of President is HH?

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    • “The ministry reiterates that the funds, totaling K65,332,446 million and US$57,950, were received from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and subsequently transferred to the Consolidated Account (Control 99) at the Bank of Zambia, in accordance with the mandate vested in it by the Public Financial Management Act Number 1 of 2018 and the Forfeiture of Proceeds Act, 2010.”

      C’mon what do you want a picture of officers handling over the monies to the cashier?

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    • Dick Sichembe’s letter says the funds didn’t reflect in Control 99. So what are you talking about? Let those chaps produce bank statements to show those funds

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    • It’s not an audit report but audit query. Same was not given to the auditee (ACC) for their response. Some zealot at AGs office leaks it and some media publishes it.Some disgruntled officials at AG’s office are trying to paint the ACC black just because their boss is facing corruption and abuse of office charges.

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  4. “…..However, amid the Ministry’s statement, Antonio Mourinho Mwanza, in his capacity as a critic of the Anti-Corruption Commission and PF media director, has voiced his skepticism……”

    To the PF theives……….money given to vaunrable students as bursaries is as good as considered stolen……….

    To them, helping pay for students is like stealing money………..

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    • Hard Cash Recieved by ACC deposited in a holding account! The simple thing to have been done Is abank to Bank of Zambia transfer – Not stories of Dummy Checks and Handover Ceremonies to blind people! The Ministry of Finance needed the Authority of Parliament to effect a Supplementary expenditure to the Ministry of Education! That was not done. in Control 99 the Funds are not reflecting – So who is moving Government Funds without proper authorities? Isn’t this the reason why Officers are being prosecuted for failing to follow laid down procedure?

  5. And some ugly cows said pf were corrupt. Funny enough no pf members have been convicted for corruption. Yet under less than 4years we are seeing cases of astronomical graft under upnd. When i said hh is a corrupt liar mwaletalika. He probably used this money for his daughter boring wedding

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    • Wait till Faith Musonda starts appearing in court. Once she’s put on her defence and starts talking, some of the PF’s dirtiest secrets will be out in the open.

  6. “…..However, amid the Ministry’s statement, Antonio Mourinho Mwanza, in his capacity as a critic of the Anti-Corruption Commission and PF media director, has voiced his skepticism……”

    To the PF theives……….money given to vaunrable student education is as good as considered stolen……….

    To them, helping pay for students is like stealing money………..

  7. To the PF theives……….money given to vaunrable student education is as good as considered stolen……….

    To them, helping pay for students is like stealing money………..

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  8. In Zambia if you have money you can get away with murder…just look at that chap who murdered his business partner and was pardoned no remorse whatsoever

  9. How the security wings of the country and finance ministry moved the money to the intended recipients is irrelevant…………

    What you should be looking at is if indeed students benefited from all the funds………

    Busy searching in empty holes making noise while the department who the money eas meant for say, they received the money…..

    PF are so easy take foools of………..just create a fake story , watch them jump in , then disprove the story………….

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    • Anyone with half a brain should know that displaying a dummy cheque is not proof of movement of funds. What is so difficult about availing the auditors with evidence of cash being deposited (deposit slip) by ACC, bank transfers to and from control 99, then bank transfer from Ministry of Finance to Ministry of Education?

    • @Spaka, have you heard of the word COLLUSION? In case you are naive, we are dealing with white collar criminals.

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  10. The recent audit report from the Office of the Auditor General has raised questions about the handling of these funds, leading to public scrutiny and allegations of possible misappropriation.
    This the key point … not what the Musokotwane ministry is telling us.
    The audit report and the ministry statement are very opposite.

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    • There’s no audit report. Stop misleading people. There’s only an audit query and no reply to the query yet. What will you after the query is explained? Will you have the decency to apologise?

  11. We told you that HH is a big Bandit….and no wonder he hired known thief Musokotwane as his Minister…..it is now clear that 65 million is in their pockets……WELCOME TO AFRICA

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  12. It went to appease some people…. some who were complaining against the New Dawn have gone quiet. Wondering what has quietened them… people like Liswaniso.

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  13. He highlights the audit report’s revelation that the money did not reflect on Control 99, indicating potential diversion or theft.

  14. In Zambia there’s no accountability….no system in place to check or verify government transactions no wonder people loot….even donor aid ends up in Politician’s pockets…..even the Western donors know that that all their donations is stolen but because they don’t really care they keep on donating….imagine 65 million just disappears with no trace….there’s free money in Politics

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