Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Donors Give Zambia $30m To Fight Abuse Of Funds

By Paul Shalala

Donors have offered Zambia a US$30million deal to reform its financial management regime and reduce abuse of public fund.

Finland, Germany,the United Kingdom and the World Bank have committed the funds through a trust fund to support the Public Financial Management Reform Programme (PFMRP).

World Bank Country Representative for Zambia Kundhavi Kadiresan (right) called the  of the programme as a milestone in Zambia's quest to have fiscal discipline.

"This programme must be embraced by all line ministries if it is to bear fruits. We have seen it succeed in other countries and here it must succeed too," said Kadiresan.

The launch of this programme in Lusaka this morning follows the continuous reports of massive abuse of public resources in every year's Auditor General's Report.

Under the five year programme, government is expected to tighten its internal controls to avoid misapplication and wastage of resources

During the launch of the Reform Programme in Lusaka this morning, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda in a speech read for him by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, said the programme will help in managing public finances.

Meanwhile, the Policy Monitoring and Research Center has called on government to utilise the Anti-Corruption Commission by prosecuting all those ciyed by the Auditor General's report in abusing public funds.

"The launch of the reform programme is a good thing but we need the ACC to start prosecuting people who abuse funds. We need to see a situation where people are jailed for abusing tax payers money," said Michelle Morel, Executive Director of the Policy Monitoring and Research Center.

And Economics Association of Zambia President Isaac Ngoma has called for an external institution to provide oversight on the reform programme.

"Government must engage an external institution that will audit this reform programme. we are already thinking as stakeholders that this programme can succeed if well supported," said Ngoma.

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