Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet in charge of finance and economic affairs Christopher Mvunga has revealed that the forensic report on the alleged abuse of the Social Cash Transfer by the Ministry of Community Development has been finalized.

And State House Spokesperson Amos Chanda says those who are still waiting for the national dialogue process to take place from a “cozy room” in some expensive tower must know that the process is currently ongoing and all citizens are being engaged.

Speaking to journalists at State House, Thursday, Mvunga disclosed that the forensic report on the administrative inquiry had been submitted to Cabinet Office and Secretary to the Treasury, and that the two offices were in the process of studying it to fully understand its contents.

Mvunga said stakeholders, who had been funding the Social Cash Transfer scheme, would be engaged later on after the report is studied to discuss the way forward.

“I think we’ve been inundated with queries around what’s happening around the forensic audit for the Social Cash Transfer on Zampost and Ministry of Community Development. Where we are, currently, is that the forensic report has been finalized; it was submitted to Cabinet Office and Secretary to the Treasury on 29th of January. We are now in the process of studying that report so that we fully understand what the implications are. After we finish studying that report, as you are aware, we have got cooperating partners who are key stakeholders in this whole process of funding this whole Social Cash Transfer,” Mvunga explained.

“So, we will be arranging a meting with cooperating partners in mid-February to avail them the report, we will go through the report with them, hand over the report to them and then discuss with them the way forward with regards to continuing running the programme. So, that’s where we are at the moment. The report has been concluded, so there is no more speculation that there is further work happening.”

And Chanda said people should no longer wait for a dialogue process to take place at some expensive boardroom because the process was currently ongoing.

“The President met senior citizens, led by senior citizen Sikota Wina. They came to have an open conversation with him, particularly on key national themes of the economy, the need for unity of the country, the mining sector processes and particularly the new mining tax regime. They are in full support of government’s bold steps to reform the mine tax systems and they are urging the President to ensure that the Zambian people benefit from the mining sector, using the expertise of Mr Francis Kaunda, one of the best and brightest in that area. He outlined the difficulties that the mining sector has faced, pre-colonial, colonial period, up to now and he has offered himself to government from the President down to give some insights about how the tax reform can move forward, how Zambia can maximise its benefits from the mining sector,” Chanda narrated.

“Mr Sikota Wina insisted that no one has the right to undermine national coercion and politics can be practised within the civil bounds of dictates of a democracy. So, he’s encouraging the President and thanking him for the efforts he has undertaken since he assumed Office of the President to run the country; he has called for stability across the board. In short, Mr Sikota is calling for continuous dialogue between and among political players. Intra-party dialogue and inter-party dialogue and the focus for him is patriotism. He says the tribalism that nearly destroyed the country during their time must not be allowed to come and undermine national cohesion.”

Meanwhile, Chanda insisted that the national dialogue process was currently ongoing.

“The President made a response that this is the kind of dialogue he wants. When you talk about national dialogue, they don’t see it in the specks of opposition party X. The national dialogue cascades across all trade unions, student movements, senior citizens like them. So, the President continues with national dialogue. So, if you are waiting for national dialogue on a high board store, in high court towers, you must know that dialogue is taking place. We are talking to students, we are talking to citizens, this is the type of national dialogue across the board,” insisted Chanda.