Oasis Forum takes on Sata over house
The Oasis Forum has questioned the legality for the inclusion of President Michael Sata retirement house in the estimates for 2013 when he has just been in office for just over a year and not yet retired.
And the Forum has also said that the first lady in Zambia cannot function as a controlling officer and has no mandate to authorise public expenditure as approved by Parliament.
This is in relation to the decision by government to construct a house for President Sata at a cost of K1.4 billion and the allocation of a K 1.5 billion to the office of the first lady by the Ministry of Financewhich was recently passed in Parliament and was supported by State House.
The Forum comprised the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and Non Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) said the creation of the “Office of the First Lady” by the Ministry of Finance and the subsequent allocation of a budget line to it has raised genuine concerns.
The group said “The arbitrariness demonstrated by the Ministry of Finance in determining budget lines to the extent of creating controversial expenditure lines should be checked by law.
Government has to enact the Budget Act which will help to direct the Ministry of Finance in making budget priorities.
We have in the past gone through the equally controversial “Presidential Discretionary Fund” during the Presidency of the late Mr FTJ Chiluba. We should thus learn from our past mistakes.”
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