THE Auditor General has joined the Anti- Corruption Commission as investigations in the alleged corruption scandal surrounding the management of Zambia Railways Limited intensify.
ZRL chief executive officer Clive Chirwa was recently suspended by President Michael Sata for alleged corrupt practices while the parastatal’s Board of Directors was dissolved in an earlier action.
A six-man forensic team would soon be dispatched to Kabwe to carry out audit works and determine the extent of financial damage caused on the parastatal’s coffers amid a scheduled injection of US$120 million part of the Eurobond package to revitalise operations.
Auditor General’s office deputy Director Forensic Audit, Masiye Banda said the happenings at ZRL were of grave concern despite the office having already planned to carry out an audit this year.
“In light of what has happened at the ZRL the forensic team being dispatched by the Auditor General’s office will intensify their investigations and if there is any need to share vital information with the ACC, we will do so because this is part of our MoU with the ACC,” Banda said.
He said the AG’s office dispatches auditors to government agencies that required auditing.
A feud ensued between the Board led by Mark Chona and Professor Chirwa based on financial mismanagement and plans to overhaul ZRL.
This prompted the Government to dissolve the Board and later the suspension of Prof Chirwa.
The ACC was immediately summoned to carry out thorough investigations in the matter.
Sata had since appointed Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Permanent Secretary, Muyenga Atanga to manage ZRL in the meantime.
He also ordered Prof Chirwa who would be on half salary, to vacate the Fallsway luxury apartments in Lusaka.
The wrangles between Prof Chirwa and the Board members had been received with outrage from civil society groups and the labour movement, who all demanded for hastened investigations.
Transport, Works Supply and Communications Minister, Christopher Yaluma has however, assured the nation that plans to overhaul the national railway would not be derailed.