Editor's Comment

Keep vultures from DMMU

Created in 1994,  Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is vested in the Office of the Vice-President.
DMMU was created as an agency for putting in place preventive measures in order to reduce the negative effects of hazards and strengthen the national capacity for disaster management in order to avoid the adverse impact of hazards.
Given this noble responsibility, DMMU has been receiving special attention from the Treasury and donors as Government responds to the negative effect of hazards such as droughts and floods.
The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has placed an even heavier burden on DMMU as it joined the inter-ministerial committee on the response to the respiratory disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic came at a time when the country was facing other challenges such as repeated climate shocks, which are threatening progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.
It, therefore, became inevitable for DMMU to join the collective and concerted effort to mitigate the additional impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Government enjoyed unprecedented goodwill locally and internationally as donors, local corporates and citizens joined in the battle against COVID-19.
For instance, during the period from February 1 to July 31, 2020, the Treasury released K61,364,345 (Ministry of Health  – K53,884,345), DMMU (K4,000,000 as National Disaster Relief Trust Fund) and K3,480,000 to other ministries, provinces and agencies) for the fight against COVID-19 under the Epidemic Preparedness Fund.
In addition, between May 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, the Treasury released K33,798,987 to DMMU against the budget provision of K450,000,000 under the COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Contingency and Response Plan.
However, the COVID-19 donations received by DMMU as Parliament heard recently, were managed in a chaotic situation, and somebody somewhere benefitted from the confusion that seemed to rock the whole system that was put in place.
Apart from the mismanagement of COVID-19 donations, DMMU is also guilty of aiding ruling parties during by-elections, bequeathing its noble role.
Because of the perceived honey and milk at DMMU, President Hakainde Hichilema recently revealed that some of his senior party members were lobbying to be national coordinators at DMMU.
The clamour by UPND supporters for positions in DMMU is a red flag on potential for corruption, which the new dawn admin must viciously fight.
President Hichilema noted with dismay recently that many officials were lobbying for the top job at DMMU.
This is because DMMU under PF became a cash cow and a de facto extension of the party’s campaign structure.
Therefore, the assurance by Vice-president W.K Mutale-Nalumango that there will be no corruption at the DMMU under her watch is more than welcome.
It is welcome for more than one reason: corruption is a cancer that has continued to rob Zambians of the much needed development by taking away resources from the critical social sectors like health and education.
Zambians are still reeling from the effects of the Olympic levels of corruption that charactetised the PF government.
It is for this reason that Zambians will rejoice at continued assurances of the resolve to fight graft.
The vice-president’s assurance does not only build on earlier pronouncements by the President but also re-emphasises the collective resolve by the new dawn administration to fight corruption.
It simply demonstrates Government’s zero-tolerance to corruption.
This is the right thing to do.

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