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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

This rot must end now!

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The on-going scrutiny of audit reports which the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament is doing has just revealed the rot that is in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

What has come out of the sessions is that there is blatant and systematic theft in MDAs which, if not stopped early, could see this country crumbling right before our eyes.

When you learn about the billions that these MDAs are failing to account for and the excuses that controlling officers are giving, you will realise that the theft in MDAs is systematic and astutely planned by crooked people masquerading as civil servants.

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It is not surprising now that the Accountant General has come out with revelations that some controlling officers deliberately hide documents and forge receipts. What the Accountant General has just said must not be taken lightly. This is a serious matter that must be investigated thoroughly until the culprits are traced so that they face the law.

Fifty-three years after independence this country has been in a state of arrested development with unsatisfactory public services. Our hospitals are operating without drugs, our road network is pitiable and we do not have decent education infrastructure —all because money that could have been used goes into the accounts of thieves working as public servants.

If at all this country is to develop, we need to have a serious change in the way we do things. Firstly, Capital Hill needs to be cleaned of all crooks that are only there to steal from the public purse. This can be done if all those involved in underhand dealings of forging receipts and hiding documents are traced and apprehended.

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It is very surprising that despite various MDAs clearly failing to explain some expenditure, no controlling officer has been taken to task. Actually, what Pac is doing— by summoning controlling officers without initiating punitive measures for those in the wrong—is a waste of resources.

All what we are saying is that we should not be lenient with public servants who are abusing public resources. The AG has said it and it is now in the hands of relevant agencies to come in and sort this rot once and for all.

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