THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
STATE HOUSE EXPLAINS BUDGET ALLOCATION TO THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST LADY
STATE HOUSE is dismayed by some unfounded and unjustified concerns being raised over the allocation of the sum of one billion, five hundred million kwacha (1,500,000,000.00) to the office of the First Lady and therefore wishes to provide the following clarifications.
If the various stakeholders expressing concern had genuinely wished to understand the actions of the Government, they could have sought clarification from the Government and been accordingly advised that the reference to the office of the First Lady is merely for transparency and as a departure from the old culture of Government incurring illegal expenditure on this office.
The activities and items funded under the estimates of revenue and expenditure, commonly referred to as the yellow book are based on the offices and activities permitted by the constitution using revenues of the republic from the consolidated fund. The application of activity based budgeting in Zambia has existed for several years now.
In the budget estimates for 2013, the Government decided that it was necessary to provide further explanation for the activities falling under the Office of the President as they relate to the activities of the First Lady. Thus, there is nothing illegitimate with this process given that the Government and State House in particular has upheld the tenets and principles of good governance.
Note that through this method, the Patriotic Front Government is being accountable and transparent in accordance with the promises it made to the people through its manifesto. In addition, it is a legal requirement that at the end of the year the expenditure to the office of the First Lady will be subject to an audit by the office of the Auditor General. It is not our desire or intention to spend unbudgeted for funds. And on that basis, State House deserves commendation and not vilification and wanton condemnation as shown by certain stakeholders.
You may wish to note that these funds are used for the payment of security staff, transportation and other logistics that are necessary for the effective operation of the First Lady in undertaking assignments that are of a formal nature on behalf of His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia and the state in general.
Further, there is no specific reference in the estimates of revenue and expenditure to the office of the First Lady as there is no such office constitutionally established except by convention, which has evolved over time. In any case, if there had been anything illegal about this expenditure, parliament certainly reserved every right when considering the budget not to pass this particular vote.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS