Accountants blame absence of qualified professionals for theft of K300 million in Education ministry


The Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has called on the government to hire qualified accountants for secondary schools.

This request was made in response to the Auditor General’s Report for the financial year ended December 2022, which revealed misuse of public funds totaling over K300 million at the Ministry of Education.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday, Institute President, Yande Mwenye, said It was disheartening to note that 3,067 schools in Southern, North-western, Central, Muchinga, Northern and Luapula provinces operated without accounting officers for the period under review and some dating back to 2018.

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“The Institute wishes to state that in accordance with the Accountants Act No. 13 of 2008, section 18 (1) A person shall not, unless the person is registered as a Chartered Accountant under this Act- (a) practice as, be employed as, offer services as, or hold out to be, a Chartered Accountant,” Mwenye stated.

She also reiterated the concerns raised by the Education Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUZ) on a local radio station regarding the misappropriation of funds in the education sector.

“He echoed the concern around misappropriation of funds due to the lack of recruitment of qualified Chartered Accountants,” she mentioned.

In addition to the concern, Mwenye said the country could not afford to have significant financial resources allocated by the government treasury without qualified accountants to manage them.

“Therefore the recruitment of qualified accountants in secondary schools by the government is a pressing issue that can lead to significant challenges in financial management and oversight,” she said.

Furthermore, the institute president attributed the mismanagement and potential misuse of public funds to the shortage of qualified accountants in secondary schools.

“It is clear that the involvement of qualified accountants will help in the strategic planning and financial decision-making processes, which are crucial for the long-term development of educational institutions, especially now that the government has rolled out the free education and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” she pointed out.

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