ZCTU Smells a Rat in K3.3 Million Scam

THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says it suspects that the scam involving the alleged theft of K3.3 million at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing could also involve senior ministry officials.
ZCTU general secretary Roy Mwaba said in an interview yesterday that the seven junior officers at the ministry who had since been suspended could not have acted alone in the matter but that they were used as scapegoats.
“The scam at the Ministry of Local Government is shocking and most unfortunate, especially looking at the amount of money that is involved and when you look at the Ministry of Local Government, they are coming from a background where they owe workers billions in terms
of arrears,” he said.
Mr Mwaba observed that several council workers were going for months without getting paid on the pretext that the respective councils were financially crippled but that such claims would be difficult to believe when some workers had the luxury to steal K3.3 million.
He called for vigilance in the disbursement of funds meant for various developmental projects around the country.
Last week, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu and Local Government and Housing minister Emmanuel Chenda revealed that seven junior officers at the ministry were suspended for allegedly stealing the K3.3 million, part of which, was K1.3 million Rufunsa Constituency Development Fund.
Among the suspended officers were an assistant accountant, stenographers, typists and registry clerk.
The Anti-Corruption Commission is studying the matter to ascertain whether it is worth investigating.
In another development, the ZCTU is happy that Government has finally bailed out the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) with US$3 million to normalise operations on the Zambian side.
Mr Mwaba said in as much as he agreed with Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga that Government would not be held to ransom by strike action, it was imperative that the authorities did not wait for the workers to resort to such actions before addressing their plight.
TAZARA unionised workers on the Zambian side who went on strike on July 22, 2014 have since gone back for work after Government released US$3 million to clear the five-month salary arrears.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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