By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THERE is no any secrete and illegal account being managed by the Ministry of Finance.
Ministry of Finance Accountant General Kennedy Musonda said media reports suggesting that there was a secret and illegal account being managed by the Ministry is false.
Mr Musonda has clarified that contrary to assertions, the ministry had only one paying bank account, which is the Single Treasury Account.
He however said any transactions done outside authorised processes to deprive Government of resources, would be investigated thoroughly.
He explained that before any payment was transacted in the Single Treasury Account, it had to be processed through the Integrated Financial Management Systems (IFMIS), an electronic platform.
Mr Musonda said the established and authorised payment processes for the Government were there to ensure that all payments made through the IFMIS were not only planned and approved, but properly authorised, too.
He emphasised that it was also mandatory for any payment to be pre-audited by Internal Auditors to ensure compliance with all internal controls.
“The mandatory pre-audits by Internal Auditors are also aimed at maintaining a transaction trail which is then post-audited by the Auditor General, in accordance with the Constitution.
“For clarity, all payments for allowances are made to individual’s bank accounts to ensure payment trails for all the monies paid from the Treasury Single Account are maintained,” Mr Musonda said.
Mr Musonda stated that the ministry would welcome information that may lead to tracing the secret account reported in the media.
He said the ministry took the information seriously and was keen to learn how the alleged secret account came into being.
Mr Musonda indicated that the ministry was interested to know how public funds were channeled, the account number, the bank name, the branch name; and who the signatories to the account are – so that remedial public finance regulations were evoked.
“We are also cognisant of the fact that the subject matter is of great public interest; therefore, relevant enforcement agencies will be engaged to ensure that the creators of the said secret account, if it exists, are made to account for the losses that may have accrued to the government outside the lawfully established financial system,” he said in a statement.
Mr Musonda stated that the ministry remained committed to good financial governance through risk management systems, robust internal controls, and professional public accounts systems.