Arrest those cited in AG report, says PAC

TEDDY KUYELA, Parliament
THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for the arrest and prosecution of officers who have been cited in the 2013 Auditor General (AG)’s report over alleged misapplication of public funds.
The committee, chaired by Lwena member of Parliament (MP) Getrude Imenda (ADD), said it is disappointed that officers in the public service have continued abusing with impunity, public funds meant for the implementation of development projects.
Ms Imenda said this in Parliament on Thursday when she moved a motion to adopt the report of the Public Accounts Committee on the report of the Auditor General for the 2013.
She said if officers who are in charge of administering public funds are not prosecuted, it will be irrelevant for controlling officers to appear before PAC to answer queries of financial irregularities cited in the AG’s report.
Ms Imenda said public funds are supposed to be used for improving people’s living standards and not for abuse by those entrusted to manage them.
“It is very depressing for a controlling officer to submit a report which is full of queries.
“Reports of financial misapplication cannot be condoned and the people behind the abuse of public resources should be brought to book,” she said.
Mwembeshi MP Austin Milambo (UPND) said it is sad that some public service officers have continued to abuse public resources even when Government has put in place financial regulations to guide the administration of funds.
Mr Milambo said officers abusing public funds at the expense of development should be arrested and prosecuted to promote transparency and accountability.
“We are very disappointed with what we have seen in this report where a lot of officers have been cited for abusing public funds,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mafinga MP Catherine Namugala (MMD) called on controlling officers to put in place effective interventions to curb abuse of public funds in all Government institutions.
But Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda when winding up debate assured the committee that his office is working out effective mechanisms aimed at preventing the abuse of public funds in future.
Mr Chikwanda said Government through his ministry will not allow the rampant abuse of public resources at the expense of development.

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