TIZ questions UNWTO contract payments

UNWTO Platform to market Zambia
Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has demanded that the Controller of Internal Audits, the Auditor General, Zambia Public Procurement Authority and the Anti-Corruption Commission immediately look at all the allegations of corruption surrounding the awarding of contracts for the UNWTO general assembly.

TIZ Executive Director Goodwell Lungu in a statement issued to QFM News today says this should not wait until after the event is over but that these cases should be attended to immediately and expeditiously.

Mr Lungu adds that the PF government should immediately suspend all officials and contractors
that have irregularly awarded contracts.

He states that for the country to be seen to be fostering the attainment of UNWTO’s goal of
international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for human rights, the PF
government should pay particular attention to enhancing transparency and accountability in all
the build-up activities that lead to this event.

He has since called upon the Minister of Tourism and Arts to publish in the public media, all contracts awarded and the names of the service providers and contractors, including the contract amounts.

Mr Lungu has also demanded a clarification on why Government has gone ahead to give huge advance payments to some of the contractors against conventional practice.

He says TIZ is demands that the PF Government justifies how it has arrived at reimbursable costs for some service providers such as Coordinators both locally and internationally based.

The TIZ Executive Director states that while the UNWTO is seen to maximize the contribution of tourism to socio-economic development, the event deserves the support of all Zambians and should not be the reason for wanton and reckless public spending and violation of public procurement regulations.

He reminds the Patriotic Front Ministers and government officials of the precedence of the ICASA event held a few years ago which was tainted by numerous allegations of corruption and abuse of public procurement rules.

Mr Lungu says there is need for the country to learn from this and ensure that it does not only deliver a successful UNWTO but one that is free of all forms of malpractices.

He adds that that Transparency International Zambia will initiate a public process to assess the manner in which public works have been awarded and will advocate that all those found wanting be prosecuted to the full extent of extent of the law for the UNWTO procurements and other public works and service procurements.