President Edgar Lungu says he is aware that some senior public servants have dented the reputation of the public service despite taking oaths.

Speaking when he swore in Francis Mbewe as Deputy Auditor General in the Office of the Auditor General and Kambaila Munkoni as Public Policy Specialist Policy Analysis and Co-ordination Division – Cabinet Office , Monday, President Lungu hoped Mbewe would resolve the numerous audit queries that appeared in the audit report.

“Mr Francis Mbewe Deputy Auditor General, you have vast experience in public service in accounting, finance and auditing for over 25 years and that is a remarkable achievement which deserves recognition. Let me emphasize that the appointment as Deputy Auditor General is on merit. I am confident that with your impressive curriculum vitae you will effectively contribute to the financial audit supervision of the public sector institutions. I am also certain that you will apply your internal skills to help resolve the numerous audit queries that constantly appear in the Auditor General’s report,” said President Lungu.

“I am concerned that huge financial resources are either being misapplied or misappropriated in the public sector. We need to restore sanity in the utilization of public resources and your office is key to finding lasting solutions to this matter. The positions you are going to occupy are sensitive, therefore, take this oath very seriously and understand its implications. I am aware that most senior public servants have taken their oaths seriously though there are a few bad eggs who have swelled the reputation of the public service. I can only say good luck.”

And speaking to journalists after being sworn in, Mbewe said he would support the Auditor General in putting the Public Finance Act to good use.

“The office of the Auditor General is headed by an Auditor General who has recently been appointed and he is waiting for ratification. My role therefore is to support the Auditor General so as you have heard from the President, there is concern not only from the President even the public out there about audit queries so obviously, we will work as a team and we are ready for the challenge to ensure that audit queries are reduced. We are also lucky that the new Public Finance Act, which was enacted in 2018, that is a very good document and our role is to ensure that, that act is put in good use, the enforcement of that act definitely will improve on the reduction of the audit queries,” said Mbewe.

“We will also look at the issue of procurement. There have been concerns over the years that procurement…there is something that needs to be looked at so we will put some weight in that area just like we will continue doing in forensic audits and most importantly we will continue the collaboration with other oversight institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and other institutions so that where there is need to prosecute, we should not delay. But I can assure you that we are up and running we ensure that there is discipline in the expenditure of finances in the Republic.”