Judicial Allied Workers’ Union of Zambia (JAWUZ) president Peter Mwale says civil servants do not need a lifestyle audit because they already have a Code of Conduct that forbids them from stealing public funds.
Last month, former Attorney General Musa Mwenye recommended that all serving and former public sector workers should undergo a lifestyle audit to explain their wealth and ensure that their earnings were commensurate with their accumulated assets.
But in an interview, Mwale said there were adequate laws in place to punish thieving civil servants.
“As civil servants, we have got terms and conditions under which we serve. And one thing, which I know is that, when you are a civil servant, you definitely have access to loans from the bank and you can get a loan from where you work, you can do business. And basically, there is no law that stops us civil servants to venture into business. What I would just appeal myself is that, let us earn this money in a right way because if we steal, for example, government money, we will be arrested, charged and dismissed. So, based on what guides the civil servants and how we are supposed to conduct ourselves in terms of our earnings, we are allowed to do business and to borrow money. And as civil servants we can invest,” Mwale said.
“My appeal to all civil servants is that we have got a Code of Conduct, which guides our day-to-day operations and in that Code of Conduct, we are not allowed to steal government money. We are not allowed to involve ourselves in corruption. Otherwise, for those who are calling for audits, civil servants already have got a system in place that does not allow us to steal money. If I am a civil servant, for example, myself in the Judiciary and I happen to steal court fees, if I am corrupt and solicit money from litigants, I don’t need an audit. The law is very clear and I will definitely be charged by the Judiciary, I will be disciplined by the Judiciary management and if I am found guilty, I will be dismissed.”
He said the code of conduct clearly stipulated that civil servants should not be corrupt.
“The disciplinary Code of Conduct clearly stipulates that (a) I should not come drunk for work; (b) that I should not steal government money; (c) I should not be corrupt and soliciting. So, we are already checked. You can already see that there are so many civil servants who have been dismissed; there are so many civil servants that have been arrested and are appearing in court. So, as civil servants we have no problem and the law is already adequate, I can assure you,” said Mwale.