Action Aid executive director Nalucha Ziba says the delayed appointment of a substantive Auditor General raises serious questions on government’s commitment towards the handling of public resources.

In an interview with News Diggers! Ziba said there was urgent need for government to speed up the appointment of the Auditor General to ensure that public finances were prudently managed and accounted for.

“We would like to express our concern over the delayed appointment of an Auditor General as it raises concern around commitment of government towards strengthening public finance management, especially in light of the various challenges we have been experiencing as a country when it comes to public finance management. Even the recent findings of the FIC (Trends) Report points out issues of abuse where public finance management is concerned,” said Ziba, who further stressed the importance of a substantive Auditor General in enhancing the role of oversight institutions.

“We need to start talking about job securities for public service positions reason being their tenure of office which offers their job securities is not ratified, not only as a way to strengthen the oversight role of the institution, but to also give more power and strength to even the person appointed and to know that they are protected by the various laws as well as government,” said Ziba.

Last October, President Edgar Lungu’s former Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda announced that the Head of State remained eager to have in place a functional Auditor General, but that there were “constitutional impediments” preventing him from nominating a substantive holder.

“The President is working very hard to make sure that all the constitutional impediments that has delayed the appointment of the substantive holder; so that the Auditor General substantively is appointed. He’s concerned that it’s taken long, but the [Republican] Constitution prohibits him from nominating without following the Constitution. So, the President is very desirous to ensure that there is a substantive holder in that very important office of governance and oversight institution,” said Chanda then.