The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction says the rate at which public resources are being misappropriated by those in authority has potential to leave the national treasury bankrupt.
CSPR Eastern Province Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma said in a statement today that it was disheartening to see how public officials had continued mismanaging public funds as revealed in the latest Auditor General’s report.
“The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction is seriously concerned with increased cases of misapplication of public funds by government officials as revealed in the 2016 auditor general report. CSPR is disheartened to see that misapplication of public funds in 2016 increased drastically from about K28 million in 2015 to about K162 million in 2016. The rate at which public resources are being misappropriated and stolen for personal gain by those in authority today is unprecedented, worrying and has reached alarming heart breaking levels to ordinary Zambians. If left unchecked this has the potential to make the national treasury bankrupt,” Nkoma stated.
“We note with dismay that unaccounted for revenue has increased from about K500, 000 in 2015 to K3.7 Million in 2016 while unaccounted for funds increased from about K190, 000 to K380, 000 in 2016. Unretired imprest also increased from K12 million in 2015 to K17 million in 2016. The revelations of the 2016 Auditor General report has vindicated majority stakeholders and ordinary Zambians who have accused certain government officials of being corrupt for amassing a lot of wealth within a short period of time of being in government.”
Nkhoma said he was not surprised with the revelations in the 2016 Auditor General’s report because according to him, the current government had created an enabling environment for corruption to flourish.
“CSPR is not surprised with the revelations of the of the 2016 Auditor General Report because the current government has created an enabling environment for corruption, theft and abuse of public resources for personal gain by those holding key government positions. Due to high levels of corruption, theft and abuse of public resources, Zambia has now been ranked the third hungriest nation in the world which has increased citizen’s vulnerability, inequality and poverty,” Nkhoma stated.
“It is public knowledge that the government has been seen to be shielding and defending certain government officials accused of engaging in corrupt practices and theft of public resources. In a government where the Head of State is the first person to defend wrong doing by government officials, corruption, abuse, and theft of public resources becomes the order of the day as was witnessed when citizens called for investigations into the procurement of fire engines at $1million dollars each. As a result of being seen to be shielding those allegedly involved in corruption, Zambians are likely to take President Edgar Lungu’s call for action on everyone cited in the auditor general report as mere political rhetoric and a lip service joke to deceive Zambians that government was going to take action on those involved when in fact not.”
Nkhoma urged Zambians to take a watchful eye in the manner public resources were being utilised to ensure effective delivery of public social services.
“Now that the hidden truth regarding misapplication of public funds has been revealed in the 2016 auditor general’s report, CSPR urges government to desist from mocking citizens by asking citizens to bring evidence of corruption involving government officials because the auditor general’s report provides adequate information upon which investigations should be undertaken. We wish to call for immediate action on all those cited in the auditor general report without further delays. We further urge the government to embrace principle of transparency and accountability in the management of public resources by implementing the recommendations of the 2016 auditor general report,” stated Nkhoma.