Govt Officials Yet to Remit MK112 Million Allocated For Independence Day Celebrations
Government officials that received part of the 200-million-kwacha financing for July 6 Independence Day celebrations have not yet remitted the funds three weeks after the event.
The committee that was organizing the event has released the expenditure report with a balance of 112 million kwacha yet to be remitted which the Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency says raises suspicions of financial prudence by the Tonse Alliance administration.
The report is signed by Marjorie Shema, from the secretary to the president and cabinet, and is almost repeating the same things minister of Homeland Security Richard Banda already told the nation recently, that the government used 87 million kwacha for the celebrations and that some millions were saved.
According to the report, 200 Million kwacha was credited into the account of the Chief Secretary to the government on 2 July 2021, four days prior to the event, and of this money, 112 million kwacha was not spent on anything and it will be returned to the treasury.
But, Executive Director for the Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Willy Kambwandira is not amused.
He is questioning the logic of releasing the report without proof that the taxpayers' money has been returned into the government's account number 1.
All in all, he hails the government for releasing the report.
“They should not wait for the citizens to push them to be accountable. But still, they can do better than presenting an issue in which they have not finalized some processes which makes it questionable,” he said.
Chimwendo Banda who chaired the organizing committee says the process is still underway to have the balance remitted to the treasury as communicated. He still insists people should not hold any doubts, the money will be returned. Further adding that this process has already begun, only protocol issues delayed it.
“We were waiting for the report before we deposit the balance and It will only take a few days,” he said.
Initially, the celebrations were budgeted at 243 million, but it was later trimmed to 200 million after several people were against the idea of spending such a huge amount amidst the pandemic and vaccine shortage.