A civil rights activist Brebner Changala has called for the immediate suspension of Ministry of Local Government and Housing permanent secretary to allow for smooth investigations in the K3.3 million fraud.
Mr Changala said it was unfair that the ministry could suspend junior officers while allowing the permanent secretary who is the controlling officer to continue with his work.
“The permanent secretary must be suspended immediately to avoid interference in investigations. Why did they not suspend the permanent secretary and his directors? Why go for junior officers?
The minister should have the permanent secretary suspended to facilitate proper investigations. It is most likely that a lot is happening at this ministry and Minister Emmanuel Chenda must put his house in order,” Mr Changala said.
Mr Changala said it was unfortunate that the Ministry could not reveal to the nation that there was a scam until Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) made it known to Zambians.
He said it was unfortunate that monies meant for development programmes in the constituencies were being stolen.
Mr Changala said it was even more worrying in constituencies where there were no Members of Parliament.
He said the Auditor General should visit all the constituencies and look at their books on the utilization of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the ministry books in order to ascertain how many constituencies had received their funds.
Mr Changala said the revelations on Rufunsa and Chongwe constituencies could just be the tip of iceberg.
“These revelations should be taken seriously.
There is need for the entire local government ministry to be audited to ascertain the correctness in the allocation of the CDF funds to constituencies and look at the administrative guideline in the utilization.
“This misappropriation could have happened in the constituency but then it is sad that the ministry entrusted with the disbursement of the funds was actually the one involved in the scam.
We want to challenge the minister to also tell us if the CDF has been distributed to all constituencies that do not have representation in parliament at the moment,” he said.
Last week, TIZ exposed the misapplication of K3.3 million Constituency Development Fund meant for Chongwe and Rufunsa.
Minister of Local Government Emmanuel Chenda reacted by saying seven civil servants had been suspended over the scam.