FINANCE and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane says the money which was recovered from Margaret Chisela Musonda alias Faith Musonda by the Anti-Corruption Commission will be used to pay students’ bursaries.
And Dr Musokotwane has warned perpetrators of white-collar crimes that the long arm of the law will steadily and meticulously catch up with them.
Speaking when he received the recovered funds from ACC in Lusaka, Wednesday, Musokotwane said after comprehensive analysis and wider consultations, government had decided to use the funds that had been recovered from corruption to provide for additional university bursaries in 2022.
“You may recall from the 2022 budget address, I made a commitment on behalf of the Republican President Hakainde Hichilema to tackle the challenges relating to the inadequacy of University bursaries for many of our bright young men and women across the nation. I am here today to do something about that challenge. In that regard, and after comprehensive analysis and wider consultations, your government has decided to use the funds that have been recovered from corruption to provide additional university bursaries in 2022. This will benefit an additional 2,232 university students across the nation who were left out on government bursaries in December, 2021 due to budget constraints,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane said the funds would be utilised for a noble cause.
“Regarding the recovered assets in question today, I wish to confirm that the treasury has since officially received them. These funds will be utilised for a prudent and noble cause that fosters the common good of the people of Zambia, especially the youth. The youth are the anchor of this country’s future. The resolve and focus of this new dawn administration is to ensure that public funds are invested in areas that truly benefit society. Diverting public resources in any manner for selfish and individual benefit will not be tolerated,” he said.
“Remember, the forfeiture of the funds and property in question today to the state is just the beginning of many other assets yet to be recovered and placed in the hands of the true owners, the Zambian people.”
And Dr Musokotwane warned perpetrators of white-collar crimes that the long arm of the law would steadily and meticulously catch up with them.
“Let me take this opportunity to warn perpetrators of white-collar crimes, past and present, that the long arm of the law will steadily and meticulously catch up with them. In the modern world, there is now nowhere to run to or hide. And to the cause of fighting crime and recovering stolen public assets, the treasury is fully committed to providing support and I wish to reiterate that the government will provide all needed resources for the investigative wings to facilitate this noble cause,” said Dr Musokotwane.
And speaking after receiving the funds, Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima said this was a true reflection of what President Hichilema said about improving education standards in the country.
“First of all, let me just most sincerely thank the Minister of Finance and National Planning, the investigative wings that were able to recover these monies and I hope they recover some more because we still have a deficit in terms of sponsorship to our kids. As you may recall that about 10,485 were admitted into University of Zambia who were eligible for sponsorship. 197 were not eligible and 8,004 students were left out. So what it means is that we gave loans to and scholarships to 2,000 which were budgeted then because this is a different academic field. I know people will be saying that but you have started your budget. This budget was a carry over. It was budgeted for in 2021/2022 academic year. So this admission is not coming from your budget sir. It came from another budget. This development of channeling these funds to my Ministry is a true reflection of what President Hakainde Hichilema said about improving the education standards in the country,” said Syakalima.
Meanwhile, ACC secretary of the Commission Ivor Mukwanka, who spoke on behalf of the director general, said the institution would investigate, prosecute and recover any assets illegally obtained.
“Today the Commission is happy to hand over to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning cash amounting to 65,332,446.00 and 57,950.00 USD seized and forfeited to the state as proceeds of crime. This money is from the recent case that stunned the nation involving Margaret Chisela Musonda alias Faith Musonda. Let me also take this opportunity to sternly warn the perpetrators of corruption, especially public officials that the commission will not tolerate any criminal behavior. The commission is equal to the task of bringing anyone found wanting to face the wrath of the law,” said Mukwanka.
He also said the commission would in due course handover other properties, including Musonda’s house which was worth over K6.5 million.