ZAMBIA National Farmers Union president Evelyn Nguleka and her executive director Ndambo Ndambo are being sought by police over alleged misappropriation of funds as affirmed by the international audit firm, KPMG.
Sources at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) offices yesterday told the Daily Nation that instructions have been issued for the arrest and prosecution of the two ZNFU officials over the alleged misappropriation of K34 million donor aid for local farmers.
This follows demands from the Swedish and Finnish embassies in Zambia for action to be taken against those responsible for the mismanagement of donor funds at the organisation.
A forensic audit by EMM partners was followed by special audit by KPMG of Finland which observed that preliminary investigations revealed that the board of ZNFU had failed to account for over K34 million, money meant to improve local farmers’ welfare in line with knowledge and expertise of the effects of climate change, among other benefits.
Dr Nguleka, who refuted the allegations, discredited an initial report by a local audit firm EMM Partners that indicated that there was gross mismanagement of funds at the union with project money diverted to emoluments for top officials instead of the primary beneficiaries.
KPMG has however validated the EMM findings which were indicative of gross misappropriation of the money meant to benefit poor local farmers, which revelations the ZNFU dispelled as malicious allegations meant to discredit top management.
The ZNFU accused EMM Partners report of failing to meet acceptable auditing standards because it miscalculated the income of ZNFU, but Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) defended the EMM report.
Dr Nguleka said such accusations were meant to cause the collapse of the farmers’ mother body, but that her team would work towards correcting the wrongs.
Among the allegations included a K100 000 loan signed for Mr Ndambo which Dr Nguleka failed to explain during a press briefing held to exculpate themselves.
The donors have demanded fir a refund of the money if action was taken against the culprits mentioned in the audit.