Government, through the Civil Service Commission, has dismissed 12 accounting and one operations staff who were involved in various offences involving public funds, including theft.

In a statement issued by Ministry of Finance head of public relations Chileshe Kandeta, the dismissed officials, are mostly accountants from the Ministry of General Education, Commerce Trade and Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Provincial Administration in Lusaka.

“Under the Ministry of Education, Mr. Chizaso Thole, a senior accountant; Mr. Eliya Mwale, accountant; Mr. Lazarous Chanda, assistant accountant and Ms. Ivy Sibajene, accounts assistant, have been dismissed in accordance with section 21 (a)(v) of the disciplinary code and procedures for handling offences in the public service,” read the statement issued in Lusaka, Monday.

“Mr. Moses Thole, accounts assistant, under Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry, has been dismissed, while Mr. Rodgers Mwanza, a senior accountant, and Mr. Lukanda Matambo, an accounts assistant, were both dismissed from the civil service in December, 2017, for similar offences under the same Ministry. Two officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been dismissed. These are: Mr. Noel Mulopa, an assistant director – Operations and Mr. Lawrence Phiri, an accountant. Under the Provincial Administration – Lusaka Province, four officials have been dismissed. These are: Ms. Grace Zimba, a principal accountant; Mr. Psela Banda, an accountant; Ms. Nzewa Chumbu, an accounts assistant and Mr. Gideon Zulu, an accounts assistant.”

According to Kandeta, the stolen funds will be recovered from the dismissed officials’ terminal and pension benefits.

“In addition, the due process of the law will also be followed to the letter in reaching conclusive positions in accordance with the Public Financial Management Act, 2018. The Public Financial Management Act, 2018, is now the principal act on public financial management matters,” read the statement.