Corrupt Government Officials Warned

Corrupt Government Officials Warned.

THE LOCAL Government Service Commission ( LGSC) has sternly warned council officials against engaging in corruption and misapplication of funds.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, LGSC chairperson Amos Musonda said the Commission is disappointed with allegations that some officers in local authorities are allegedly involved in corrupt practices and financial irregularities.

He cited a case at Kitwe City Council (KCC) where a director of finance allegedly paid himself K655,784.23 as long- service bonus.

Mr Musonda said a preliminary report into the matter has been issued to LGSC by the town clerk and the officer in question has been suspended.

Mr Musonda said a forensic audit on the books of accounts at the KCC will be done soon.

“ We implore principal officers that are managing the councils to be alert and ensure that they strictly and professionally supervise the operations of the local authorities under their charge.

“ It is not our interest to remove officers from their positions but to ensure that officers placed in these offices are able to deliver to the expectations of the Zambian people.

We will not condone an attitude of business as usual,” he said.

Mr Musonda said LGSC expects officers in councils to operate more effectively and efficiently and change their mindset towards work.

He advised council officers against doing private jobs at the expense of service delivery during working hours.

Mr Musonda also said LGCS is concerned about reports that some officers in councils are preoccupied with illegal land alienation and blatantly go against standards stipulated in the Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 283 of the Laws of Zambia.

He said LGSC will in the next few days conduct tours on the Copperbelt to follow up on alleged reports of corrupt practices and misconduct, and anyone found wanting will be dealt with and reported to law enforcement agencies.

Mr Musonda also said the LGSC is determined to ensure that the right people with qualifications are employed in local authorities.

“ To this effect, the Commission is embarking on the verification process of academic qualifications of all officers in councils and we hope to complete this process by the end of the second quarter of 2017,” he said.

Mr Musonda said LGSC has noted the poor and confrontational relationships between the unions and management teams, which has negatively impacted on service delivery and employees motivation.

He said the LGSC’s stance is that joint management union meetings be held regularly to resolve issues of interest.