Press reports on Friday indicated that K47 million in taxpayers money has allegedly been siphoned by officials through payments to ghost workers at Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development the principal secretary Erica Maganga confirmed the embezzlement of funds.
The fresh cashgate involves five accounts assistants, three of them working at the ministry headquarters and two in agriculture development divisions (ADDs), The Nation reports.
The paper citing information which it has seen and corroborated by a police officer, the ministry headquarters based trio Cosmas Chafulumira, Chimwemwe Kampanje and Mwaiwawo Chipatso was allegedly conniving with their colleagues at ADDs notably Bertha Chakwera and Mabvuto Chilimba.
The officials were then giving each other exaggerated salaries of up to K600 000, almost tripple their monthly salaries and also created a chain of ghost workers who would then withdraw the money on their behalf and later on share.
The stolen money so far is estimated at K48 million, according to the report.
National Police deputy spokesperson Mable Msefula said the five “have been charged with conspirancy and theft by public servant.”
They are on bail.
According the the report, the ministry of finance, economic planning and development has since instituted a pay roll audit at the ministry to verify the number of employees and the monthly wage bill.