Stakeholders in Zambia call for thorough probe into misapplication of COVID-19 funds

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-10 21:45:49|Editor: huaxia

LUSAKA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Recent revelations of the misapplication of funds meant to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia have unnerved many stakeholders who feel thorough probe should be conducted.

According to an interim audit report on the utilization of COVID-19 funds resources for the period from February 1 to July 31, released by the Auditor-General's office, a total of 1.3 billion Zambian Kwacha (about 62 million U.S. dollars) was mismanaged in various unexplained transactions.

So far, about 25 controlling officers in government departments and ministries have been cited as culprits and charged pending disciplinary action on the misuse of the funds, according to Simon Miti, Secretary to the Cabinet.

But stakeholders feel that more needs to be done to ensure that all those involved were identified and arrested.

Quince Mwabu, Director-General of the Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia (MQHZ) said the organization was disappointed over the abuse and misappropriation of funds donated by various stakeholders for the purpose of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said it was unfortunate that the revelation has come at a time the Ministry of Health has failed to pay allowances for frontline workers.

"Because of the seriousness of the matter, we call for quick actions from the Anti-Corruption Commission against all those behind this abuse," he said in a release.

"We further demand that all donations towards the fight against COVID-19 be accounted for in order for cooperating partners to have confidence in the Ministry of Health once again," he added.

Zambia has received support from both local and international cooperating partners who have and continue to donate towards the fight against the pandemic. Enditem