Minister of Transport and Communications Mutotwe Kafwaya says his Ministry will institute investigations into the K1.4 million collected from speeding motorists deposited into an unauthorized private bank account by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).
And Kafwaya says there is no reason for motorists to stop paying speeding fines until the matter is thoroughly investigated.
The latest Auditor General’s Report revealed that RTSA deposited over K1.4 million collected in speeding fines into an unauthorized ‘private’ bank account, where part of it went missing before it was deposited into a government Escrow account, following an inquiry.
The Auditor General also revealed that the said unauthorized account belonged to “Pay Now Zambia Ltd”, which had been active since May, 2016, before the IMS contract with RTSA was signed, further explaining that this was contrary to Financial Regulation No. 140 (1), which states that “under no circumstances shall public money be credited to a private bank account or used for personal purposes.”
But in an interview with News Diggers! Tuesday, Kafwaya said there were several reasons that could have prompted the RTSA to deposit money into an unauthorized private bank account.
“Government has got rules and procedures, which must be followed at all cost. So, to give a proper comment, we have to review what caused those people to deposit that money in a non-authorised bank account. Does it mean that firm they were working with allowed for that or not? That is a matter which needs to be investigated further and find out why that money was deposited into that account,” Kafwaya said.
He said the money could have been deposited in a private bank account to earn the holder some “benefits”.
“You must understand, also, that accounts have got benefits. When you deposit a big chunk of money in an account, there are benefits to the account holder. So, what inspired the undertaking to depositing money in the account? That has to be established. Whose decision was it to do that and where they got the authority to do that…And eventually, we will find out whether the amount was moved to a government account or it is still there or the money was misappropriated. There are many issues that must be discovered. In the absence of credible information or documentary evidence it becomes difficult to speak to the issue,” Kafwaya said.
But Kafwaya urged motorists found guilty of excessive speeding to continue paying for their fines until the matter was thoroughly investigated.
“It is our duty to explain. At this point, there is no reason for loss of trust. But when we have investigated and come to explain, that is when you can determine whether our explanation is sufficient or not, but I can tell you that is a matter we have to investigate,” said Kafwaya.