THE Auditor General’s Report has revealed that the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry wasted K3,278,124 on 90,000 litres of insecticide which expired because the sprayer kept on postponing works between 2018 and 2020.
And the Report disclosed that a veterinary officer absconded from duty for eight months and was irregularly paid salaries in amounts totalling K107,232 for the period from January to August 2019.
According to the Report of the Auditor General on the accounts of the republic for the financial year ended 31st December 2019, the ministry engaged hare Mix Limited and Avima Pty Limited of South Africa to supply and deliver 425,489 Litres of insecticide.
“On 27th July 2017, the Ministry engaged a joint venture of Share Mix Limited and Avima Pty Limited of South Africa to supply and deliver 425,489 Litres of Deltamethrin ULV Insecticide at a contract sum of K14,420,627 (US$1,621,114.80) with a delivery period of two weeks. The joint venture was also required to oversee the application of the insecticide in an aerial spraying operation, to control tsetse flies and trypanosomiasis in livestock and in humans in parts of Rufunsa, Luano and Nyimba districts. As at 31st December 2018, the supplier had been paid amounts totalling K7,748,902 (US$810,554.64), for the delivery of the first consignment of 212,744.50 litres, being 50 percent of the contracted quantity,” read the report.
The Report stated that the Ministry engaged two companies to provide night aerial spraying services and K6,602,522 was paid but the works had not been executed while 90,000 litres of the insecticide expired.
“In this regard, on 15th June 2018, the Ministry engaged a joint venture of CK Scientific Group (Zambia) Limited and Sandriver Crop Protection of South Africa to provide night time aerial spraying services to control tsetse flies (Glossina Morsitans and G. Pallidipes) in a 9,293 km2 area covering parts of Rufunsa, Luano and Nyimba districts. The contract sum was US$3,192,000 (K31,812,429.60) with a delivery period of three months ending on 15th September 2018. The contract was further extended for another three months from 1st May 2019 to 31st July 2019 at no additional cost. The terms of the contract included the following; the starting date for the commencement of services was seven days after contract signing. 10 percent performance security of the contract price shall be provided within 14 days of contract signing,” read the Report.
“Advance payment of 25 percent of the contract price shall be paid on the commencement date against the submission of a bank guarantee for the equivalent amount. As at 31st December 2019, the contractor had been paid amounts totalling K6,602,522 (US$452,262.98) representing 14.17 percent of the contract sum as advance payment instead of 25 percent. However, as at 31st August 2020, the contractor had not executed the works despite the works being rescheduled three times between 2018 and 2020 while 90,000 litres of insecticide valued at K3,278,124 (US$342,900) delivered by a joint venture of Share Mix Limited and Avima Pty Limited of South Africa in October 2017 had expired rendering the expenditure of K3,278,124 (US$342,900) wasteful.”
It stated that the Ministry did not deduct VAT in amounts totaling K45,269.
“The Value Added Tax (VAT) Amendment Act No.12. of 2017 read together with the Treasury and Financial Management Circular No. 6 of 2017 directed all institutions which were appointed as tax agents to withhold and remit VAT from payments to suppliers of goods and services to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). Contrary to the Act and circular, the Ministry did not deduct VAT in amounts totalling K45,269 during the period under review,” it stated.
The Report revealed that 323,000 vaccines costing K1,005,397 were unaccounted for in that there were no disposal details.
“On 21st December 2018, the Ministry engaged Botswana Vaccine Institute to supply and deliver Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) vaccine TI/14 Strain and Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine (FMD) on a three year running contract. During the period under review, the supplier had been paid amounts totalling K3,280,780 for the supply of 840,500 doses of FMD and 100,000 doses of CBPP vaccines. The terms of the contract included the following: The supplier shall at its own expense and at no cost to the procuring entity carry out all such tests and/or inspections of the goods and related services. The supplier shall provide the procuring entity with a report of the results of any such tests and/or inspections,” read the Report.
“Physical inspections and laboratory tests of the vaccines prior to acceptance by the purchaser shall be conducted on delivery at Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI). The following were observed although the contract provided for the vaccines to be inspected physically and tested at the CVRI, there was no evidence of physical inspections and/or laboratory tests before acceptance of the vaccines. During the period under review, 840,500 doses of FMD vaccine valued at K3,097,100 and 100,000 doses of CBPP vaccines valued at K183,680 were distributed to 34 districts that were affected by the disease. However, a physical inspection of vaccines distributed to seven selected District Fisheries and Livestock Offices carried out in June 2020 revealed that 323,000 vaccines costing K1,005,397 were unaccounted for in that there were no disposal details. Further, it was observed that Mongu Provincial Fisheries and Livestock Office did not have cold rooms to store the vaccines and relied on a third party for the storage.”
It stated that rural hardship allowance in amounts totalling K27,950 was paid to three officers who worked at two stations that did not qualify for the allowances.
“Terms and Conditions of Service for the Public Service No. 166 read together with Public Service Management Division Circular No. B6 of 2010 requires an officer serving in an area declared to be in a rural and remote area to be entitled to receive a hardship allowance at the rate as may be determined by government from time to time. Contrary to the terms and conditions of service, rural hardship allowance in amounts totalling K27,950 was paid to three officers who worked at two stations that did not qualify for the allowances,” it stated.
It disclosed that 27 officers who were accommodated in institutional houses were irregularly paid housing allowance in amounts totaling K257,815.
“The Public Service Management Division Circular No. B 24 of 2013 requires housing allowance to be paid to officers not accommodated by Government in standard/pool houses through the payroll. Contrary to the Circular, 27 officers who were accommodated in institutional houses were irregularly paid housing allowance in amounts totaling K257,815,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the Report revealed that amounts totaling K107,232 were paid to an officer who was absent from work for eight months.
“Terms and Conditions of Service for the Public Service No. 60 (a) and (b) stipulate that an officer who is absent from duty without leave for a continuous period of ten or more working days, should be liable for dismissal and should not be paid a salary for the period he or she was absent from duty. Contrary to the Terms and Conditions of Service, a Veterinary Officer absconded from duty for eight months and was irregularly paid salaries in amounts totalling K107,232 for the period from January to August 2019,” read the Report.