Ombudsman to probe councils over financial mismanagement

Ombudsman Martha Chizuma says her office will investigate all councils red flagged for financial mismanagement and abuse of office.

Chizuma: ‘One of the shining lights of integrity on top of a hill in whose valleys remain the dark shadows of institutional corruption and impunity across the public sector’

Describing the exercise as complex, Chizuma said money which was meant for social services in critical areas such as health and education ended up in few greedy pockets of council officials.

“The abuse of office led to the people being deprived of essential services. In some cases, construction of classrooms stopped because there was no money, the money had been stolen,” she said.

She said the probe will date back from 2014 up to 2019 and she could not give a time frame as to when it will end, saying this is the first time her office has embarked on such a complex mission.

This comes at a time when minister of Local government and Rural Development Ben Phiri said the government wants to audit all councils following rampant reports of corruption and theft of public money.

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What is complex here?