Edgar Lungu orders treasury to give Rupiah more govt funding in 2018 than KK

By Staff Reporter

President Edgar Lungu has ordered the Secretary to the Treasury to provide more money from the general revenues of the Republic during the financial year ending December 31, 2018 to Rupiah Banda than to Dr Kenneth Kaunda in their respective capacities as the country’s fourth and first former presidents.

And President Lungu who on Friday asked those having issues with the approach his government is taking in the fight against corruption to start advising the PF, ironically wants the combined defence forces to receive K3,193,840,270 more from the general revenues in the same financial year than the Anti-Corruption Commission.

According to the Appropriation Act, 2017 which President Lungu assented to on December 19, 2017 and which was enacted on December 22 last year, Rupiah will, through Cabinet Office, be appropriated K3, 176, 170 compared to the K2, 198, 890 which Dr Kaunda is entitled to.

The Appropriation Act authorises expenditure from the general revenues of the Republic of monies required for the services of the Republic during a life of a financial year and in the Appropriation Act covering the financial ending December 31, 2018, the top priority appropriation is towards debt service in the amount of K14,241,063,550.

“On the authority of a warrant issued by the President, there may be expended from the general revenues of the Republic, such monies, not exceeding in the aggregate seventy-one billion, six hundred and sixty-two million, six hundred and sixty-one thousand, four hundred and sixty-seven kwacha as may be required for the services of the Republic during the financial year ending on 31st December, 2018,” the appropriation law read in part.

The Act’s first schedule shows that Office of the President State House headquarters has been appropriated K69, 583, 630 which is K10,254,750 more than the K59,328,880 that is going to be appropriated to the Auditor General’s Office, an important public finance management oversight institution.

The State House allocation is also higher than the K54,594,420 appropriated to the Disaster  Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) headquarters, and a further scrutiny of the appropriation shows that the Ministry of Finance’s human resources and administration alone has been appropriated K2,029,409,500 when the early childhood education programme under the Ministry of Education has just been appropriated K115,397,558.

While President Lungu agrees that the National Assembly should be allocated K523,796,220, the Zambia Police’s appropriation of K343,629,390 severely dwarfs the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s appropriation of K95,520,630.

Within the appropriation to the Zambia Police, the biggest chunk of the general revenues will go to the Mobile Unit with K94,064,080, Para-Military with K92,179,510, Lusaka Province Police Division with K186,663,030, Copperbelt Division with K142,750,170, Southern Division with K61,405,740 while Muchinga Division trails at the tail-end with K18,381,850.

Further, under the Ministry of Agriculture, which the PF government wants to be the mainstay of the country’s economy, the Agri-business and Marketing Department has been appropriated K3,287,610,120 whereas the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) has only been allocated K29,956,920.

The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry appropriation shows that while the Industry Department has been provided for to the tune of K150,465,460, the Foreign Trade Department has been provided K22,698,690 compared to the K3,368,590 appropriated to the Domestic Trade Department.

It was indicated in the appropriation schedule that the Accountant General’s Office at the Ministry of Finance, for example, has been appropriated K1,283,893,200 while the entire Judiciary headquarters has just gotten an appropriation of K120,263,770.

In the Ministry of Justice’s appropriation, the Attorney General’s chambers has been appropriated K331,391,580 when the Governance Department has only been provided for to the tune of K6,930,310.

The appropriation schedule, posted on the National Assembly of Zambia website, still goes on to show that K1,298,241,030 has been appropriated to the Ministry of Health for clinical care and diagnostics services but the public health provision is only K103,401,770, an amount that is also lower than the K311,944,930 allocated to policy and planning under the same ministry.

Zambia Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS) headquarters’ K756,109,050 appropriation is equally higher than the appropriation of K52,813,410 for the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development headquarters.

In the same ministry, the Child Development Department has received an appropriation of K6,455,400 compared to the K59,868,680 allocated to the Sports Department.

And on defence spending, President Lungu wants the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and the Zambia National Service to be appropriated a combined total of K3,278,888,980, with the Army getting the biggest amount of K1,492,512,800, when the Anti-Corruption Commission has just gotten an appropriation of K85,048,710.

Addressing members of parliament on the application of national values and principles in Lusaka on Friday, President Lungu said urged those with issues on how the PF was fighting corruption to provide suggestions as opposed to mere shouting from the rooftops.