NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili has demanded that government should inform Zambians what the undeclared K6.3 billion COVID-19 donated funds were used for.
The Interim Auditor General’s Report on the utilisation of COVID-19 funds revealed that K6.3 billion was donated by various stakeholders, which the Ministry of Finance did not declare.
In an interview, Kambwili said that the Ministry’s failure to explain what the funds were used for would only heighten speculation on what government spent the COVID-19 funds on in view of a lack of transparency.
“Obviously, the question we ask: let them tell us where this money went and why they didn’t indicate. We want to know where these donations went, particularly the K6.3 billion, and what it was used for and tell us why it was not captured. We want to know, just for the sake of transparency, so that you don’t open for propaganda and speculation. We don’t want people to start speculation; we just want to know since it has come to the fall, it has come to life, it is in the public domain. Certainly, an explanation must be given to why that was not captured; why it was not disclosed and where the money is and what it was used for. When we say this, it’s not with impunity it is just that we want to know so that we avoid speculation,” said Kambwili.
And People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda said the concealing of the donated funds had exposed the PF’s corrupt character.
“As PAC, we have always mentioned the indiscipline of this government. This government is so undisciplined that some things they do, we don’t even get surprised. First of all, this government has not been following procedure in managing the resources of this country. One of the reasons why there is corruption in the country is that most of the funds were misappropriated, we have had extensive contracts, we have a lot of projects that have been over-priced. So, when you hear about money that is being concealed, it is just the character of the government that we are dealing with, it is the way they do things. As of today, we don’t even know how much money has been collected from toll gates, which we pay. It is in the same line as what happened with the COVID-19 funds. They took advantage of the COVID funds because they thought that this is emergency funds so people are not going to push it, but we are happy that all those irregularities have been brought out in the open,” said Banda in a separate interview.
“There is no remorse from this government, this government cannot change. We want to know where this money that was concealed went to…was it used for COVID-19 purposes? Or it was diverted or stolen? We want to know! Just being told that money was concealed is not enough, we want to know where that money was taken, how it was used and for what purpose. In the PF, there is no corruption fight. I mean we cannot hope that the PF are going to fight corruption. We are going towards elections, there is no advice that can be given to these guys on the fight against corruption. We have talked to them, they can never change, so what we need to do, as a country, is to come together next year and remove them from government like the way the Americans have removed Donald Trump!”