Secretary to the Treasury MacDonald Mafuta Mwale says he will not resign following calls from Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives (Cdedi) over the K371 million allowances scam.
Cdedi last month demanded that Mwale steps aside alongside Accountant General Jean Munyenyembe over the scam.
In a written response, Mwale said he understands the calls, but said the request is from a point of ignorance.
He said: “They should first understand what happened and how the officials at the Accountant General’s Department were receiving those allowances.
“If they don’t understand, we are ready to explain to them unless they refuse to understand. I will not resign.”
In a statement last month, Cdedi executive director Sylvester Namiwa said there was need for Mwale and Munyenyembe to step aside following the arrest of 18 junior accountants involved in the K371 million allowance scandal at Capital Hill.
The arrest of the 18 comes after an investigation by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs exposed fraudulent activities perpetrated by officers at the Accountant General’s Department for personal gain.
Namiwa said it is a well-known fact that there is a culture of allowances everywhere in the public sector and top officials benefit by obtaining obscene cuts from the limited national cake.
He said the junior accountants cannot draw money from Account Number 1 without the knowledge of senior officers.
“We, therefore, demand that the Secretary to the Treasury and Accountant General publicly defend their competition in safeguarding public funds, or they should honourably resign before being forced to do so on grounds of incompetence and criminal negligence,” said Namiwa.
Efforts to speak to Munyenyembe proved futile as our calls went unanswered on several attempts.
In a recent interview, the acting Auditor General Thomas Makiwa said routine auditing will take place at the Accountant General’s office.
He said: “We will include it in our audit programme since we are already doing statutory audits for ministries, departments and agencies for the year ended March 31 2022.”
Newly-appointed Public Accounts Committee of Parliament chairperson Mark Botomani in a recent interview said the revelations of the alleged theft were depressing.
However, he said his committee has not yet been appraised on the developments, but will be engaging the officials involved on the matter.