It is shocking that Zambia Railways board members unjustifiably paid themselves huge sums of money in allowances without following procedure and budget plan for the company, says UPND president Hakainde Hichilema .
In an interview, Mr. Hichilema said that the revelations that Zambia Railways Limited board members paid themselves over K426 million within three months in unbudgeted activities in form of sitting allowance was total abuse of office and corruption.
He said it was therefore prudent that those involved to pay back the money instead of defending their wrong action.
Mr. Hichilema said that it was morally and professionally absurd to allow the payments of such huge amounts of money when the company needed a serious recapitalization to operate fully.
“I was dismayed when I saw the budget line for the company and the allowances they were drawing in a period of three months. As rightly put by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, it was total abuse of office and for them to continue drawing allowances on unbudgeted for board meetings is unacceptable and action has to be taken,” he said.
He said that many Zambian were living in abject poverty, unemployed and without shelter and for the board to be making such draws, showed high levels of irresponsibility.
And MMD youth wing coordinator Bowman Lusambo said that it was shocking for educated men and women to illegally draw money they did not work for.
Mr. Lusambo said that MMD youths were demanding for the Anti-Corruption to institute corruption and abuse of office probes in the matter.
He said that, “the money in question should be paid back because what happened was total theft of public funds. This is a loan that the country got and has to be paid back and for some people to take advantage of the weak system and abuse the funds it is not correct.”