ZICA Commends Finance Minister on CDF Oversight Amid Allegations of Misuse

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (16–05 – 2024) – The Zambia Institute for Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has praised Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, the Minister of Finance, for his proactive stance on managing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

This comes in the wake of allegations of CDF misappropriation in Kalabo District Council, prompting a nationwide internal audit of all constituencies.

Yande S Mwenye, President of ZICA, highlighted the significant increase in CDF allocations, which rose from K1.6 million to K28.3 million in 2021 and currently stand at K30.6 million.

Mwenye stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in the disbursement of these funds, which are critical for improving local communities across Zambia.

“The substantial increase in CDF necessitates rigorous oversight to maintain the public’s trust,” Mwenye stated.

“We reiterate the need for prudent use of these funds in all constituencies. Transparency and accountability in the application, approval, and disbursement processes are crucial.”

To ensure proper management, ZICA emphasized the employment of qualified accountants and auditors regulated by the Institute.

Mwenye pointed out that placing these professionals in strategic positions within local authorities is essential for effective oversight and guidance.

“Qualified accountants are often relegated to non-strategic roles, which hampers their ability to oversee resources effectively,” Mwenye noted.

“This not only limits their impact but also discourages skilled professionals from joining local authorities. We urge the Local Government Commission to address this issue urgently.”

She said ZICA has committed to supporting the capacity-building of local governance structures by providing targeted financial management training.

This initiative aims to enhance the competency of those handling CDF funds, ensuring they adhere to ethical standards and CDF guidelines.

“Implementing robust internal controls at all levels is vital for the accountability and transparency of government-allocated resources,” Mwenye added.

“We look forward to the findings of the Controller of Internal Audit once the constituency audits are completed.”

She also underscored the legal requirement for accountants to be registered under the Accountants Act No. 13 of 2008, Section 18 (1), reinforcing the need for professional oversight in financial management roles.

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