The country’s public finance management system, which is still leaking billions of taxpayers’ money as evidenced by audit revelations that at least K100 billion remains unaccounted for in five years, needs serious fixing.
It is not, therefore, enough for the Minister of Finance to complain of laxity when the Public Finance Management Act clearly stipulates on whom the axe must fall when there is abuse of public funds.
The Act mentions controlling officers as people who need to be taken to account and these are heads of ministries, departments and agencies such principal secretaries and district commissioners who head local councils.
But as we saw in the mismanagement of Covid-19 funds, no controlling officer was tasked to explain their role in the alleged abuse of taxpayers’ money on their watch.
And in the present scenario, K 100 billion is at least 10 percent of the current budget, which is a colossal figure to allow to get wasted due to lack of diligence by responsible officers.
The worrying thing is that the amount of money not accounted for continues to rise each year regardless of the promises of action or threats of prosecution by authorities.
We, therefore, call for the invocation of the Public Finance Management Act to bring sanity and stem further abuse of public funds.