AUDITOR General Dr Dick Sichembe says his office will vigorously discharge the mandate bestowed upon it by the Constitution to ensure that all forms of mismanagement of public resources are exposed and dealt with accordingly.
And Dr Sichembe says Zambia is eager to learn from Tanzania on how that country is dealing with mismanagement of public resources and how it is holding government institutions accountable.
Speaking when members of parliament and other officials from Tanzania paid a courtesy call on him at his office, Monday, Dr Sichembe said President Hakainde Hichilema had prioritised the need to ensure prudent management of public resources because no country could develop with weak public financial management systems and practices.
“My office will vigorously discharge the mandate bestowed upon us by the Constitution to ensure that all forms of mismanagement of public resources are exposed and dealt with accordingly. To achieve this, the Office has partnered with other oversight institutions such as the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC), Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to ensure that those that abuse public resources, as cited in the Reports of the Auditor General, are followed up and prosecuted,” Dr Sichembe said.
“As we may all know, there is no country that can develop with weak public financial management systems and practices. It is for this reason that His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema has prioritised the need for prudent management of public resources to ensure that public bodies procure goods, services and works at the right price, right quality and delivered at a right time.”
And Dr Sichembe said Zambia was eager to learn from Tanzania on how the country was dealing with mismanagement of public resources.
“I note that we have similar arrangements in terms of parliamentary committees providing oversight on the accounts of public institutions in our two countries. This fact will be of great advantage during this visit as it will help us learn from each other regarding how our parliamentary committees conduct their business in providing oversight on public resources and benchmark each other for maximum learning and knowledge sharing. This, in turn, will help us in our discharge of oversight functions and contribute to yielding desired positive impact on the lives of our citizens. In this regard, we are eager to learn from you on how you are dealing with mismanagement of public resources in your country and how you are holding government institutions accountable in the management of public resources. We are also ready to share insights and strategies we have developed in our quest to discharge the mandate bestowed upon us by the Constitution of Zambia,” he said.
Dr Sichembe said the visit would accord the two countries opportunities to exchange knowledge, explore areas of closer collaboration and enhance capacity building in providing oversight on the management of public resources.
“As an Office, we are delighted to host you as this will accord our two countries opportunities to exchange knowledge, explore areas of closer collaboration and enhance capacity building in providing oversight on the management of public resources as well as fostering transparency and accountability in public institutions in our two countries. The Republic of Zambia has enjoyed a long-term bilateral relationship with the United Republic of Tanzania. This relationship dates back to independence days of the two countries because of the close friendship that existed between our two founding fathers, the two great sons of Africa – Dr Kenneth David Kaunda of Zambia and Dr Julius Kambarage Nyerere of Tanzania. Their visionary, wise leadership and friendship left us a legacy that has continued to yield benefits to this day both politically and economically,” stated Dr Sichembe.
“May I remind you that the Republic of Zambia has significant partnerships with the United Republic of Tanzania that are strategic to our two countries. One of the busiest border stations for the Republic of Zambia is the Nakonde-Tunduma border that connects Zambia to Dar-es- salaam in Tanzania. Year in, year out thousands of trucks pass through that border transporting various exports and imports to and from the Republic of Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania. Further, Zambia and Tanzania jointly own the Tazara Railway that connects Central Zambia to the port in Dar-es-salaam thereby enabling even greater bulk transportation of goods between the two Countries. The Tanzama Pipeline that supplies crude oil which is offloaded in Dar-es-salaam and piped to the City of Ndola in Zambia is another partnership that speaks to a close friendship between the two sister countries. Considering the importance of these partnerships, it becomes necessary that our two countries continue to engage in exchange visits such as this one to share innovative ideas that can help build even closer mutually beneficial national ties.”