Zambia is being plundered by Patriotic Front (PF) with unpredented levels of corruption and wanton abuse of public resources in which government has lost billions of Kwacha in unexplained circumstances as compared to the time the MMD when it was in government, MMD national chairperson Kabinga Pande has observed.
And Pande has warned the PF government to stop running corrupt cartels which were heavily disadvantaging the country’s governance system.
Pande said that cartels surrounding the PF leadership were plundering the countries limited resources by corruptly awarding contracts to cadres with no capacity to execute.
“We have cartels, in fact well known cartels in the constructions sector, procurement and other sectors who were demanding huge sums of money from government. And this should come to an end because it keeps stressing government in resource mobilization,” Pande said.
In interview yesterday, Pande said that he was saddened at the level of abuse of public funds by the Patriotic Front government.
He said that the revelations by the Auditor General that there where glaring misapplication and misuse of public funds in unretired imprest was a source of concern as it pointed to how porous the system had become.
Pande observed that abuse of public funds by government officials should not be encouraged at all cost, adding that government officials and PF leaders should stop interfering in the operations of the security wings such as the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Police so that they could independently and effectively investigate corruption.
He said that investigative wings should be allowed to probe cases or reports of abuse of public funds, abuse of office, misapplication and misappropriation in an independent manner unlike where fear and threats were imposed on officers following up such issues.
“The misapplication of these funds should not go in this manner things are going now. This should come to an end. But how can this matter be addressed? We need to allow Police, DEC, ACC and other investigative wings to operate independently. The time when the Auditor General releases the report the investigative wings should be allowed to move in and look at the report and see which matter is criminal and the other ones that they can resolve administratively,” he said.
Pande said the current government was stressed as a result of over borrowing because it did not have funds as most of the money was being abused by public officers, adding that allowing government officials to be abusing the very little funds available was uncalled for.“We have seen that the PF government is finding it difficult to mobilise resources and the little funds we have are also being abused by the same government officials. We expect this to come to an end. This is a worrying scenario and if we are not careful, this country will again be trapped in another high indebtedness which will be extremely difficult to come out,” he said.He said the stress on government in resource mobilization could be seen in the way government had imposed employment and wage freeze in the public sector for two solid years in a bid to raise funds and cut on expenditure.“But this is what we are not seeing in the PF government. They make pronouncements that they will do this but they end up doing different things and that is a source of concern. There is abuse of public funds in the road sector, there is abuse of funds in the construction sector, and there is serious corruption in the procurement of farming inputs and other services and other areas that I not have mentioned. And you can only deal with such a matter when you have an independent investigative wing to operate unlike the way things are happening now,” said Pande.The Kasempa Parliamentarian has since urged Zambians to show interest in the manner public funds were being utilized in order to curb abuse of resources at will by those in leadership and their servants.