PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday suspended the Auditor General, Assistant Auditor General and several officials of the Ministry of Finance and Planning to allow investigation into allegations of misuse of public funds.
Apart from suspending the officials, the Premier went a step further by ordering the Director-General of Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Salum Rashid Hamduni to conduct a thorough investigation on allegations facing the officials for further legal measures.
Prime Minister Majaliwa was prompted to take stern measures against the ministry’s officials after they paid themselves hefty allowances in a span of only three months.
According to the PM, on March 13 this year, 30 vouchers worth 251m/- were issued as special payments for undisclosed task and the recipients.
What raises the eyebrows of everyone is that on the same day officials at the Ministry paid themselves 198.8m/- as honoraria. On April 8, this year, at least 27 public servants from the same Ministry were paid 44.5m/- as allowance for carrying out a special task that lasted for four weeks.
Five days later (April 13), at least 155.2m/- was paid to 68 officials as allowance for a three-week special duty. According to the Premier, on April 30 this year, a total of 43.9m/- was paid for preparation of environmental protection programme before issuing another 14.4m/- for Women’s Day.
Another 43m/- was paid on the same day, making the total amount of money that was paid on that particular day to be 101.8m/- in total. The list of payments is long as on May 1st, this year, 184.1m/- was paid in the morning and later in the afternoon 264m/- was paid for a special duty.
Other payments made include 145.6m/- that was released to officials as payment for preparation of a special work plan which is part of their daily duties on May 3, this year , 171.2m/- paid for preparation of Parliaments documents again on May 3 and another 155m/- paid to several officials as allowance for preparation of work guidelines.
To use Prime Minister’s words the behaviour is ‘indeed discouraging the public and is also creating environment that makes the general public lose trust in the officials.’ We, the general public, believe that these officials are testing the sixth phase government.
It is discouraging to learn that while the government is busy searching for money to finance a number of development projects and programmes some officials in the same government are busy creating loopholes for siphoning the cash.
We had forgotten this malpractice but some individuals are now slowly taking us back to where we were more than six years ago.
Kudos to Prime Minister Majaliwa for unearthing the rot.