Friday, August 07, 2009

ZICA calls for strengthening of Accountant General’s office

ZICA calls for strengthening of Accountant General’s office
Written by Kabanda Chulu
Friday, August 07, 2009 2:57:14 PM

FINANCE Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane yesterday advised some politicians from opposition parties to desist from making comments that attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will result in job losses and collapse of local industries.And Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants (ZICA) president Chintu Mulendema has urged Dr Musokotwane to strengthen the Accountant General’s office to ensure transparency in financial management of public resources.

During the 8th ZICA, ACCA and CIMA annual business conference in Livingstone yesterday, whose theme is ‘Development challenges facing Zambia towards Vision 2030’, Dr Musokotwane said there was need to continuously develop policies that created rapid economic growth of about seven to 10 per cent every year.

He said the Zambian economy would not grow to expected levels that could reduce poverty if FDI was not attracted in the country.

“There is no country that has fought poverty without attracting FDI, so those people, some opposition politicians saying too many Chinese, Ghanaians, Nigerians and others will kill local industries are wrong because FDI is good and those fears are unfounded that local people will become jobless. So let us not resist and discourage FDI since it is good for us as capital for job creation and technology transfer,” Dr Musokotwane said.

He challenged ZICA to emphasize on good corporate principles and practices from accountants when managing the country’s scarce resources.

“There is need as a country to enhance transparency and accountability in order to deliver quality services that meet expectations of the public,” said Dr Musokotwane.

And Mulendema said the realisation of the national vision required that the accountancy profession consistently acted in the public interest.

He said no amount of discussion on the Vision 2030 would turn around the country without accountants delivering high quality financial reporting and management accounting decision making in the public interest.

“We urge you to strengthen the Accountant General’s office to ensure transparency in the financial management to protect public resources and allow heads of accounting units in government to say no when not satisfied with expenditure patterns,” said Mulendema in a speech read on his behalf by ZICA vice president Fredrick Banda.

Mulendema said ZICA was concerned about the alleged continued misuse of public funds in the form of unretired imprest, misapplication and misappropriation of funds and sometimes loss of supporting documents for disbursed funds.

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