Saturday, December 08, 2012

Thandiwe received K5bn allocation during Rupiah's tenure

Thandiwe received K5bn allocation during Rupiah's tenure
By Mwala Kalaluka and Tilyenji Mwanza
Sat 08 Dec. 2012, 10:00 CAT

FORMER first lady Thandiwe Banda received about K5 billion as part of her allocation during her husband's three years as Republican president.

According to a summary of expenditure for first ladies for the period 2006 to 2011 released by State House following what the presidency calls the recent unproven and groundless assertions over the allocation of the sum of K1.5 billion to first lady Christine Kaseba's office in the 2013 national budget, the office of the first lady was allocated K493,408,200 in 2008.

The tabulation contained in the statement released by the President's special assistant for press and public relations, George Chellah, yesterday further indicated that Thandiwe's office was allocated K1,443,170,521 in 2009 and the figure rose to K2,505,763,217 in 2010.

The total allocation to Thandiwe went to about K4,442,341,938 but this excludes the K1,368,362,627 that was allocated to her office last year when Rupiah Banda lost the presidency to President Michael Sata in September last year.
Chellah's statement also indicated that the first lady's office was allocated K1,294,764,425 in 2006 and K1,568,501,695 the following year in 2007.

"As observed above, as far back as 2006 the Office of the First Lady has been funded under the estimates of revenue and expenditure, commonly referred to as the yellow book based on the offices and activities permitted by the Constitution using revenues of the Republic from the consolidated fund," he stated. "As stated before, the application of activity based budgeting in Zambia has existed for several years now and the reference to the Office of the First Lady is merely to enhance transparency unlike the way it has been in the past."

Chellah indicated that there was nothing illegitimate with this process given that the government and State House in particular was being accountable and transparent in accordance with the promises made to the people through the PF manifesto.

"It is unfortunate that a countable number of stakeholders are expressing concern that the Constitution may have been violated by the PF government's decision to uphold the tenets and principles of good governance by ensuring transparency in the budget estimates for 2013 to the Office of the First Lady," stated Chellah. "It is regrettable that over a straightforward and transparent matter such as this; there are those who seek to see corruption and illegalities.

As a matter of fact, the first lady Christine Kaseba-Sata deserves commendation and not attacks for the selfless service she is doing for our people. The Patriotic Front government is committed to running an effective, transparent and accountable democratic government with modesty, respect and hope for a better Zambia for all."

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