A good name is better than riches, says suspended Postmaster general

SUSPENDED Zambia Postal Services Post master general McPherson Chanda says he will allow the due process of investigations in the “abused” US$4 million donor funds.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Chanda said a ‘good name is better than riches.

He said he would only comment when the investigations are concluded.

“Many journalists and other well-meaning people have required a public explanation from me over the alleged ‘disappearance’ or ‘misuse’ of the alleged K43m of Social Cash Transfer funds at ZamPost. The due process of investigations is currently underway. I, therefore, kindly request for your understanding that I am not able to comment on the details of the alleged siphoning or diversion of the said K43m until the investigations are concluded,” Chanda posted.

“At this point, I can only give a word of comfort to all friends, colleagues and family members that the values of personal integrity and incorruptibility which we have shared over the years will never be exchanged for money. A ‘good name is better than riches’, as Scripture teaches us.”

He thanked President Lungu for giving him time to serve as Postmaster general.

“I wish to thank the Republican President, His Excellency Mr E. C. Lungu, the Government and the ZamPost Board of Directors for having given me a chance to serve ZamPost as CEO over the past six (6) years. Public service is sacred. I am humbled to have been given a chance to serve the nation through the Post Office. After this storm, I still have hope in God to be of use to my community and to our nation in different small roles to serve our country. Life’s true meaning and happiness lies in selfless service to others,” Chanda said.

“I thank all employees of ZamPost who have had to grapple with wrenching challenges affecting the postal sector – worldwide. The Post Office has been dying in many African countries as customers increasingly switch to ICTs and no longer use stamps and letters. I encourage you to keep serving the corporation with diligence. In closing, I wish to thank the family, all colleagues and friends for your love, moral support, confidence and prayers during this trying period.”

Chanda, Best Mwaichi (director finance), Isaac Kamwimba (director operations) and Dorothy M. Mulenga were suspended from their positions for six months to pave way for investigations into administration of the Social Cash Transfer, which the Zambia Postal Services Corporation received from the Ministry of Community Development for onward disbursement to beneficiaries.
The British government has suspended funding to the Social Cash Transfer programme following disappearance of US$4m.
President Lungu has since fired community development minister Emerine Kabanshi to pave way for investigations, a move that has been received with mixed feelings.

The Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme is a major social protection intervention by the government to continuously reduce extreme poverty in Zambia and implementation is done by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS).

Beneficiaries of this programme are persons identified by the MCDSS and aged over 65 years or are individuals with severe disability.

Currently, the SCT stands at K90.00 per household and is paid bi-monthly at K180.00

Households of members with disabilities receive a double amount of K180.00 per month, which is K360.00 bi-monthly.

Payments are done through pay point managers who are from GRZ departments mostly from Education and Health.

MCDSS also engaged ZAMPOST to administer the SCT and piloting was done in Luapula and Western provinces.

“In terms of funding, government funds 75 per cent while donors fund 25 per cent. Total funding currently stands at about K552 million, of which government funds K414million (75 per cent), and donors K138 million (25 per cent). Preliminary reports suggest that about K41 million was not accounted for by ZAMPOST, which represents about 29.7 per cent of the donor funding in the last 4 months,” according to a statement from Ministry of Information.

“This translates to about 145,000 beneficiaries of the about 500,000 total beneficiaries.”

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