Kasolo urges controlling officers to answer queries in AG’s report

LET’S not make the Zambian people feel that the government has failed when it has not failed, Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo has told controlling officers.

In an interview, Kasolo said controlling officers and other government officials should explain and clarify issues raised in the Auditor General’s report and not let the President to explain.

He said the President had “a bigger fish to fry”.

“I don’t know if some of you watched the President when he was on television, he actually tried to explain some of these terms (that are used in the Auditor General’s report). I think (this) is a sign of frustration on his part, he is frustrated that we who must explain these things are not explaining it. We need to explain, it’s our job not his job. The President has bigger things, bigger fish to fry and we are letting him get down where we are; that’s not fair,” Kasolo said.

He said it was not fair for the Auditor General’s office to use certain words to the general public.

“Again it’s we, the technocrats, we the PSs, our friends in the Auditor General’s office, we need to sit down and say ‘wait a minute’ let’s not mislead the nation into thinking that money has gone out missing when it has not gone out missing,” Kasolo said.

He said it was possible to manage mistakes like those reflected in the Auditor General’s report. Kasolo said the province had zero audit queries from the 2016 Auditor General’s report.

He said he was proud of the team around him and that they would work hard to try and maintain the zero audit queries.

“In 2016 in our province, we did extremely well. I want to thank some of our staff, I was hard on them but it worked, we managed to clear all our audit queries. So we have zero audit queries, [we’re] the only province that has done that. And you know I am very proud of the team around me, we will try to work hard to keep and maintain that zero audit query [status]. When we have queries when auditors come, our job is to work with them closely, understand their concerns clear the anomalies so that we are not wasting time going to Public Accounts Committee because I go with a big team and sometimes you go and spend six days paying allowances, fuel etc,” Kasolo said.

He said there was need to sit down with the Auditor General’s office to clarify some of the anomalies that were described in the report.

“Let’s not make Zambian people feel that the government has failed when it has not failed. There are things that are necessary evils like to borrow money from one volt to another, but it’s also right to make sure that when you do that, you pay back when the money is funded. When it’s not, it will remain unpaid debt, but we can explain these things better so that the Zambian populace, when they read the Auditor General’s report, they can understand,” said Kasolo.

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