Contrary to reports that donors have threatened to cut aid to ZNFU, they have reiterated that comments circulating in the media about the ongoing audit at ZNFU are premature, as the audit has not concluded yet.
The donors have also not asked for the suspension of either the ZNFU executive director Ndambo Ndambo or the ZNFU board, as has been reported elsewhere. Donors said any action to be taken will only be done when the audit process is over.
In a statement posted on Swedish Embassy website, the donors say they have discussed the issue with the ZNFU board about the audit that is being undertaken.
The donors’ statement reads: “In relation to recent media coverage on an audit of the Zambia National Farmers’ Union by Cooperating Partners (SIDA/Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Finland and We Effect), we confirm that an audit is being undertaken.
The purpose of the audit is to detect any possible use of development funds for other than eligible purposes. The Cooperating Partners have refrained from commenting on the audit as the process is still ongoing. Any comments on potential findings of the audit or potential action following therefrom would be premature at this stage. The Cooperating Partners and the Board of the Zambian National Farmers’ Union have discussed the matter on 5th February 2016.
On behalf of Cooperating Partners
Embassy of Sweden.”
A check at ZNFU offices in the showgrounds yesterday found that normal operations were going on despite premature investigations that have been started by DEC regarding allegations of theft of donor funds. DEC seized documents and computer hard drives for accounting staff on February 9 after individuals fighting the ZNFU director over the ownership of ZNFU shares in the Zambia National Commercial Bank reported the matters contained in the preliminary report.
ZNFU is currently responding to the audit queries raised. ZNFU president Dr Evelyn Nguleka appealed to ZNFU members for calm as investigations were going, adding that the real truth would be known after the processes are over.