ALL government undertakings, if wrongly applied, has the potential to affect national affairs negatively in some cases with far-reaching negative effects.
In more than one way, government has the capacity to tilt the imbalance in equity sharing of national wealth to the governed especially when the private market fails.
In improving market failures, government should take action to provide basic social services and goods by encouraging the private sector to provide goods and services that are under-supplied by government.
It is a known fact that for development to filter through to ordinary members of society there is need for government to operate efficiently in maintaining high level of public service delivery with a bias towards improving the effectiveness and efficiency of certain policies and economic programmes.
It is therefore cardinal that the local government should take advantage of its competitive edge in the provision of services to enhance efficiency by making local authorities accountable for decisions they make in relation to utilisation of, for instance, ward and constituency funds.
What has been happening in recent times has revealed that some public officers are ‘misappropriating’ funds meant to improve the welfare of the communities in places like Ndola Central and Chifubu Constituencies.
The misappropriation boggles the minds of many followers of government empowerment programmes.
The recent report of some failed projects whose funding was already released but most likely misapplied by one legislator in Ndola recently raises an alarm about what is happening in some administrative institutions.
With this rather absurd scenario, is an example of how many governments in Africa are beset by poor public project implementation a hurdle that is detrimental to the designed agenda to accelerate national development to benefit the interest of ordinary people?
It is sad to note that public officers charged with the responsibility to actualise projects such as overseeing the smooth construction of national facilities like schools and hospitals, among others have failed in their duties.
This is so because implementing project officers are not attuned to the demands of their expected roles in helping government identify priority areas in communities let alone having the prowess to facilitate such national undertakings.
But what has gone wrong? In most cases, it is the issue of greed by some civil servants who are defeating well-intended public programmes crafted to empower the communities.
In recent cases, the Auditor General’s report has never failed to highlight financial irregularities in a number of government departments and ministries.
The media has also exposed scandals some of which, unfortunately, appear to have thinned away from the spotlight of law enforcement agencies although others have been prosecuted in the courts of law sending warning shots to would-be offenders.
Perhaps, more private citizens should be encouraged to help investigative wings get to the root of the scourge if they are protected to offer valid leads to any form of abuse of public funds and other related vices that already exist or may surface in future.
It should all start by ejecting workers from the system since these incompetent and greed officers have nothing to assert when overseeing the delivery of goods and social services to the general populace as they simply have no credible abilities to perform duties on behalf of government.
George Bernard Shaw, the 18th century English political writer, would most probably have said that our political experiment of democracy should not be the last refuge of cheap misgovernment.
President Edgar Lungu has challenged civil servants who are bent on frustrating government policies and programmes to continue doing such at their own peril since they will ultimately face dismissal from the civil service once found wanting.
This is one way to ensure some leaders do not continue to construe government programmes after their own fashion of depriving the poor of what they deserve.
Considering the truism that government has accelerated socio-economic schemes to develop the country, the civil service needs continuous cleansing of non-performers to serve as an example to others especially those who are now instruments of extraction of public funds for ill-motives.