Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:30:08 +0000
GOVERNMENT officials involved in the mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds must be arrested and prosecuted as has been directed by President Edgar Lungu, UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) has said.
Mr Mwamba said it was time all State investigative agencies including the Zambia Police heeded to President Lungu’s advice and got into action and ensure that all civil servants who had dipped their hands into the treasury were made to account for their actions.
Mr Mwamba said in an interview that one of the reasons Zambia was facing acute economic challenges was the wanton misappropriation of public resources by civil servants most of whom had gone unpunished for their actions.
He lamented that most of the public servants were in the habit of misusing public funds for their personal gains because they knew that even if the office of the Auditor General would find them wanting, they would never be arrested and prosecuted.
He observed that Zambia was owing a lot of money to foreign and local contractors due to lack of proper planning as the people involved were using their positions and offices as opportunities for empowering themselves and fattening their pockets.
Mr Mwamba advised that government officials holding privileged portfolios were often free to abuse their offices and signed contracts without consulting the treasury or following the laid down procedures.
“All those who have been mentioned in the Auditor General’s report as having misappropriated or misapplied public resources should be arrested and prosecuted as President Lungu has demanded. They took for granted that whatever came their way was theirs and forgetting that they were misusing public funds,’’ Mr Mwamba said.
Mr Mwamba stated that Government had in the recent past failed to take action against perpetrators of mismanagement of public funds despite the Auditor General’s last report which documented glaring misuse and in some cases pure theft.
“I have said it many times that the PF government should be more serious in curbing abuse of public funds because it is the ordinary Zambians who suffer the most as basic services are not provided.
“Look at the price of mealie meal today, look at the price of fuel and you are fully aware that when the price of fuel goes up, prices escalate to levels that Zambians would fail to cope with the situation,” he said.