GOVERNMENT must come up with measures to improve the management of financial resources in the wake of high levels of abuse of funds highlighted in the 2014 Auditor General’s report, says Action Governance Forum executive director Justin Mushoke.
Mr Mushoke said it was the responsibility of the Government to take keen interest in the Auditor General’s report as it was a critical source of information on cases that border on abuse of authority of office and corruption, especially with the current economic downturn.
He said reports of mismanagement of public funds were rampant in most institutions, with funds not performing the work it was allocated for, saying a solution must be found to the abuse of financial resources and culprits must be punished.
“It is shocking that such huge amounts of money can be abused in this country which has a lot of challenges. Zambia needs a lot of improvement in areas of education, health, agriculture and many more to boost the economy,” he said.
Mr Mushoke said lack of action against those involved in the misuse of financial resources has contributed a lot to high levels of misuse of public funds, adding that the auditor’s office has never been supported by investigative wings to ensure the culprits were brought to book.
“We would like to thank the Auditor General’s Office for the work they are doing in highlighting the misuse of funds by various institutions.
‘‘Zambia will not develop if the misuse of financial resources will continue at the rate at which things are moving, and this calls for all those involved in this act to be dealt with for effective management of financial resources which should benefit those in need of development,” he said.
Mr Mushoke appealed to President Edgar Lungu to intervene and do something in order for public funds to be protected from being abused by few individuals who wanted to see his governance efforts fail.
There was need for early detection of misuse of financial resources, saying quarterly financial reports would help in reducing misuse of huge amounts of money which this country has continued to experience, unlike relying on annual financial reports which would not help the country.
The latest AG 2014 report revealed K74 million misapplications of funds, representing an increase as compared to K65 million recorded in 2013.