THE directive from the Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba to all controlling officers in ministries and provinces to immediately surcharge all erring officers cited for misappropriation of public funds is a welcome development.
We say so because it is now common knowledge that there is something wrong with the manner in which public funds are being managed by some workers in the Civil Service.
All one needs to do is peruse the Auditor General’s Report to understand the depth of this problem.
For example, the latest Auditor General’s Report on accounts for the year 2016 shows that misapplication of funds has increased from about K28 million in 2015 to about K162 million in 2016.
The report has further revealed that unaccounted-for revenue has increased from about K500,000 in 2015 to about K3.7 million in 2016.
The Auditor General’s Report also shows that unaccounted for funds have increased from about K190,000 in 2015 to about K380,000 in 2016.
It is against this backdrop that we find the counsel by the Secretary to the Treasury to controlling officers timely, and it is our hope that they will rise to the occasion and deal with this problem promptly.
It is unfair to see only a few individuals benefitting from public funds that are supposed to be enjoyed by all Zambians.
The selfishness being exhibited by these few unpatriotic people needs to be stopped before they tarnish the name of the party in Government.
The money that is being diverted to build personal mansions and buying expensive cars can be used to build schools, health centres and other infrastructure that can benefit the poor people in rural areas who lack these facilities.
We, therefore, call on controlling officers to put in place stringent measures that will make it difficult for the bad eggs in the Civil Service to get away with their evil deeds.
We are also pleased to note that the revised Public Finance Management Bill that will, among other key matters, create a special committee to effectively deal with financial crimes in the country will soon be presented to Parliament.