Leonard Hikaumba Vice President - Political Movement for Democratic Change - (MDC)

STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

Lusaka, 4th January, 2022.

INDIVIDUALS CITED FOR FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES IN LOCAL AUTHORITIES MUST BE DISMISSED

The Movement for Democratic Change MDC, an alliance partner in the UPND led government, notes with great concern the increase in financial irregularities, particularly, in the Local Authorities as reported in the latest Auditor General’s report for the year ending 2020.

According to the Auditor General’s report, K3 billion of financial irregularities was reported from Sixty Seven (67) local authorities out of the 116 which were audited during the course of the year 2020. This shows an increase of 50% on the K2 billion that was reported in 2019.

This is of great concern. With the coming of the New Dawn Government which is showing good will in taking public resources closer to the people through increased allocation of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) from a meagre K1.6 million to K25.7 million, all efforts should be made to ensure that no such irregularities occur henceforth.

These are public resources that will be managed by the same local authorities that were found wanting in the use of financial resources. It is, therefore, imperative that stringent measures are put in place by authorities to ensure efficient mobilization and collection of revenues. In the same spirit, resource utilization must be prudent and all revenue leakages must be sealed in order for the goodwill of government to be meaningful and beneficial to all, and not to just a handful of selfish individuals.

We, therefore, urge the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development working together with the Local Government Association of Zambia to expedite the process of outlining guidelines that will govern the disbursement of the Constituency Development Funds in order to curb irregularities and the misappropriation of funds as cited by the Auditor General.

We have absolute confidence that under the watchfulness of His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President of this Great Republic, all ministries will ensure that issues of financial irregularities and theft of public resources will be a thing of the past. Those individuals who may go astray should have themselves to blame for any punitive actions that may follow afterwards.

Where appropriately applicable, we call for the dismissal of individual officers linked to the misappropriation of public funds from the concerned local authorities cited in the Auditor General’s report to serve as a deterrent measure to would be offenders.

In regard to CDF, the line ministry should ensure adequate sensitization on financial management for all those who will be responsible for the handling of these public resources intended to benefit all constituencies across the country together with their people.

As a party, we also wish to make a clarion call to the newly created Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development to ensure measures are put in place to incubate beneficiaries of the various planned empowerment initiatives so that we do not go back on the path of wastage and failure to pay back loans by the beneficiaries.

The call is further extended to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Art to promote sustainable projects that will, in turn, contribute to economic development and massive job creation. Sustainability of projects will reduce dependence on government handouts for a livelihood.

As the New Dawn government, we envisage a United, peaceful and prosperous country with a self-reliant population inspired by the hardworking Republican President.

Issued By:
Leonard Hikaumba
Vice President – Political
Movement for Democratic Change – (MDC)

3 COMMENTS

  1. This matter is of great concern and must be investigated thoroughly with culprits made to pay heavily. These affected authorities must be kept away from CDF, otherwise these increased and mouth-watering funds will be misappropriated too.

  2. Depends.They can alternatively repay while in employment.Remember they are also Zambians with a back log of dependants to look after.Put them on final warning

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