Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has unearthed an alleged scam in which K3.3 million Constituency Development Funds (CDF) meant for Chongwe and Rufunsa Constituencies has been misappropriated by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
Addressing journalists during a media briefing in Lusaka today, TIZ Executive Director, Goodwell Lungu, says his organization has solid evidence that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing gave instructions to their bank to transfer the said funds to the accounts of Chongwe and Rufunsa constituencies, the funds which have not been received today.
Mr. Lungu says after receiving information from Chongwe and Rufunsa district councils on their non receipt of the funds, the Ministry on 14th March, 2014 issued fresh instructions to their bank to transfer the CDF funds to Rufunsa and Chongwe constituencies amounting to two point six million kwacha (K2.6 million) and that the bank only remitted the funds to Chongwe constituency owing to insufficient funds.
Mr Lungu says it was at this moment that it was discovered that the Rufunsa portion of the CDF funds amounting to one point three million kwacha (K1.3 million) was dubiously, without the authority of the treasury, transferred to the ministry of Local Government and Housing grants account.
He adds that the funds were fraudulently transferred from the CDF Account number 110110143887026 to Grants Account number 110110143887016 in sums of K700, 000 and K600, 000 totaling to K1.3 million.
Mr Lungu adds that the Ministry of Finance in December 2013 released a total of one hundred ninety five million kwacha (K195, 000, 000) in five installments which was meant to benefit 150 constituencies with each meant to get K1.3 million.
Mr. Lungu says it is also disturbing from the assessment done by his organization that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has had huge suspicion withdrawals before this period totaling to two million, sixty thousand kwacha K2, 060, 000 drawn in the names of two junior officials.
He has since appealed to President Michael Sata to take clear action on the controlling officers who presided over the many irregularities his organization has cited.