Zambia says to arrest public workers involved in misapplying public funds

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LUSAKA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Zambian Vice President Inonge Wina said on Friday that the country will witness a mass arrest of public workers cited in the latest Auditor General’s Report for misapplication of public resources.

President Edgar Lungu has already directed investigative agencies to be proactive and ensure that all the culprits were arrested, Wina said during a question and answer session in parliament.

The release of the Auditor General’s Report in Zambia every year is usually met with emotive reactions from stakeholders as it usually discloses the rampant abuse of public resources by public workers.

The release of the 2016 report last month showed that misapplication of funds have remained unabated and even been on the increase in the country.

The stakeholders have called for stiffened measures to tackle the increasing misapplication of public resources.

According to figures released, the amount of misapplied funds increased from about 28 million Zambian Kwacha (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars) in 2015 to about 162 million Kwacha (about 16.2 million U.S. dollars) in 2016.

With the current national poverty levels at 54.4 percent and rural poverty levels at 76.6 percent, high unemployment and high living costs, Zambia cannot afford to continue on this path of imprudent use of public resources, local activists said.

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