THE Zambia National Farmers Union’s decision to set aside the forensic audit conducted by EMM Corporate Partners which revealed glaring misappropriation of donor funding is a desperate attempt to cover up their shortcomings, the Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma has charged.
Mr Musoma said if ZNFU had concerns over the report, they could have raised them before the report was leaked to the media.
He said that the fact that management remained silent on salient issues raised and only attempted to defend itself through the media by luring ZICA to act on the audit, raised more questions than answers.
He noted that if the audit was commissioned by the donors, then there was no question over the credibility of the auditing firm because the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) was no ‘‘namby-pamby institution’’ that would settle for mediocrity.
“ZNFU is just buying time to drag ZICA into this matter. These are desperate strategies to try and discredit the auditing firm which has exposed their shortcomings which they failed to respond to.
“ZNFU management should realise that apart from hampering Government’s efforts in improving the agriculture sector through its partners, Zambia’s image is at stake because donor countries will now shun pumping money in the country.
“They should know by now that the hide and seek tactics will not take them anywhere because they have been found wanting,” Mr. Musoma said.
He called on the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to expedite its study of the report from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and institute their own investigations.
He also praised the Daily Nation for bringing out the issue which he said would not have received the attention it deserved if it was swept under the carpet.
“We were glad when we heard that DEC already had the report on their desk and that they are studying the matter and all we can ask them to do right now is to ensure that they expedite the process so that this matter can be concluded.
“There should be no sacred cows in this investigation and whoever is connected to the plunder at ZNFU should be dealt with accordingly so that this serves as deterrent to would-be offenders because some people entrusted with public funds are not doing us any favour,” he said.
The ZNFU board of directors has set aside the EMM Corporate Partners audit and instead has opted to engage the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) to re-audit its books of accounts.