Ombudsman To Begin Probe Into Management Of Council Funds
Investigations into alleged abuse of public funds in local councils will begin in February now that the office has received submissions from all the districts.
Ombudsman, Martha Chizuma, says her office has made this arrangement to ensure that all logistics for the exercise are in place and no unnecessary disruptions.
Chizuma disclosed to Zodiak Online that despite that the deadline for receiving tip-offs (December last year) is past, her office continued to receive a lot of tip-offs.
The Ombudsman is probing alleged fraud and mismanagement of public funds in district councils hence requested the public for available information on the same.
“The information will help us to investigate the allegations thoroughly,” she said adding “Initially, we planned to start the investigations this month (January) soon after the submissions from public. However, due to mobility challenges, since some areas are hard to reach, our officers will be on the ground next month.”
The initial plan is for the inquiry to start with easily accessible areas before reaching areas inaccessible during rainy season and expect to be reached once the rains stop.
Chizuma has, however, urged the public to exercise patience while the office investigates the issues brought forward saying it want to release a report that reflect things happening on the ground in all the district councils across the country.
Livingstonia University-based political scientist, George Phiri, feels this is a positive development:
“It is saddening that despite funds allocated to different projects, a lot are incomplete hence the investigations is a step towards bringing in sanity and hold accountable those responsible for misappropriating public funds,” said Phiri.