Zambia: Auditor General’s revelations at Gender Ministry sadden NGOCC

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) - The Non-Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is disappointed with the misapplication and abuse of resources at the Ministry of Gender and Child Development as reported in the 2012 Auditor General’s report.

The organisation said it is totally unacceptable and unfortunate that huge sums of money which were meant for child protection and women’s economic empowerment programmes have been misapplied or used on unrelated activities.

The Ministry of Gender and Development was cited for the misapplication of funds amounting to K1,379,185 meant for child protection and another K292,273 meant for women empowerment. (1USD=K570)

Others were irregular payments of K70,500 as staff welfare allowances to officers, who were not entitled to them and seven inadequately supported payments amounting to K73, 460.

NGOCC chairperson Beatrice Grillo on Tuesday regretted that for a very long time, the women in Zambia have been concerned about the lack of finances to facilitate empowerment programmes for women and yet some public servants deemed it necessary to pay themselves hefty allowances, some of whom were not even entitled to them.

Additionally, funds were misapplied by buying air tickets, including paying for other unrelated activities such as motor vehicle repairs and a contribution to the intercompany relay.

“There is need for controlling officers at the Ministry to immediately address these issues, as we will not allow a situation where resources meant to uplift women and children’s economic or social status are being misapplied,” Grillo said.

She also urged the government to ensure that all the Controlling Officers and their support staff are equipped with the necessary financial and management skills to help them cope with the emerging corporate governance principles and internationally accepted financial standards.  
-0- PANA MM/VAO 4March2014

04 march 2014 15:35:27

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