THE University of Zambia (UNZA) has charged that allegations published against them are a deliberate ploy to incite members of the general public to garner an uproar against management of the institution.

According to an audit undertaken by Grant Thornton on behalf of the Auditor General, it was revealed that UNZA owed close to K3 billion in statutory obligations, and that there were over 30,000 favourable changes to students’ results without supporting documentation, coupled with illegal salary increments to top officials, among others.

But in a statement, UNZA acting head of communications and marketing Brenda Bukowa stated that the audit was still ongoing and not concluded in line with standard lawful procedure.

“We wish to state that these media publications are based on false and malicious allegations aimed at discrediting and damaging the reputation of the institution. The media reports insinuate that University management engages itself in illegal activities by suggesting that the institution has been paying salary increments that have not been approved. Further, these reports also insinuate that the University has no systems that guard against its core business of managing examinations with integrity. While it is true that an audit was conducted by the Office of the Auditor General in the stated period above, this audit exercise has not come to a conclusion based on laid-down procedures as provided for by the law,” Bukowa stated.

“UNZA has received with shock and displeasure the published innuendos alleged to be contained in a preliminary audit report authored by the Office of the Auditor General for an on-going audit process conducted for the period 2015 to 2018. UNZA management is, therefore, appalled that media institutions could be publishing unverified reports based on an ongoing exercise. Management finds this impunity not only misleading, but also a deliberate ploy to incite members of the general public to garner an uproar against the management team at the University of Zambia, a team that has worked tirelessly to uphold the integrity of the institution, which it manages as a trust, on behalf of the people of the Republic of Zambia. The public is, therefore, urged to rebuke with the contempt it deserves, the invalid media publications regarding illegal salary increments and dubious changes to student results alleged to have been in an audit report undertaken by the Office of the Auditor General.”

She called on journalists to be cautious in their line of duty and referred all queries on the matter to the office of the Auditor General.

“Going forward, we appeal to journalists to practice high levels of professionalism in their conduct as they execute their noble profession of journalism. It is always important that care and duty, as well as caution is taken before a media institution publishes any information, which has potential to injure individuals and institutions. For further clarity on this matter, the media and the general public is advised to contact the Office of the Auditor General,” stated Bukowa.