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Internal auditors to swoop on Kalabo council, as reports emerge of alleged siphoning of public funds


Ongoing monitoring and evaluation programme has revealed allegations of wanton abuse of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) at Kalabo District Council.

This is a local government jurisdiction which covers Kalabo and Liuwa Constituencies.

Preliminary information indicates that some council officials, in collusion with some community members, had registered unauthorised cooperatives and clubs which they were using to illegitimately draw CDF funds.

This has worried the Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, as contained in a statement issued on Saturday.

Musokotwane’s concern is that should the reports be factual, then the intended beneficiaries of resources for enterprise development and social welfare requirements would have been deprived.

In view of the foregoing, the Controller of Internal Audit, Internal Audit Division, Ministry of Finance and National Planning has been instructed to conduct a swift sample audit and review of the utilisation of CDF funds in local authorities countrywide.

Designated officials have been requested to ensure that all CDF related documents were secured for review by auditors.

Among the objectives of the audit is to establish facts and make recommendations to law enforcement agencies so that maximum sanctions are administered on the perpetrators of abuse of public resources.

Affirming the failure by local authority administrators to manage public funds in line with relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines is another objective of the audit.

The third objective is to recommend to the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants and other professional bodies, appropriate sanctions to be taken for professional staff who are involved in complicity leading to the abuse of public funds.

“The Minister reiterates the earlier caution made to public officials who are charged with management of public funds to comply with the relevant laws, regulations and guidelines, without fail.

“Where responsible officers are in doubt on the procedure to follow or where there are no clear guidelines on how particular financial matters should be handled, guidance should be sought from the Treasury, without fail,” the statement read.

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