Suspension of funding to ZNFU saddens TIZ

THE Finnish and Swedish governments’ position to cut funding to the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) is justifiable because the move has been done to prevent further financial mismanagement at the institution, says Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) information officer Charles Chulu.

Mr Chulu said TIZ was, however, saddened that the move by the donors would impact negatively on a lot of small scale farmers who were beneficiaries of these resources.

“The organisation is aware that the two governments conducted an institutional audit which revealed that over K34million was misapplied at the expense of millions of poor Zambians,” he said.

Mr Chulu urged all institutions tasked with managing resources meant for uplifting people’s lives to operate above board without raising questions in the minds of the public and donors about who they dealt with and how they spent their money.

He said the move would remain as a lesson to all other public and private officials to desist from illegal practices that would otherwise impact negatively on their organizations.

Sweden and Finland have suspended all funding to the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) following misapplication of K34 million donor money that was meant for farmers.

The recent detailed 242-paged forensic audit that was undertaken by the donors revealed glaring abuses of funds, perpetuated over years by senior management complicit with presidents of the organisation, and more than K34 million was alleged to have been stolen or misapplied in activities bordering on fraud, tax evasion and sheer abuse of authority.

Currently, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) is investigating ZNFU on suspicions of malpractice in the handling of development funds.

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