Locadia Mavhudzi Midlands Correspondent
Government has been urged to seriously consider the establishment of a commercial crimes court to deal with rampant abuse of public finances. Speaking during a public finance management reform indaba in Gweru last week, Midlands State University (MSU) Local Governance lecturer Dr Vincent Chakunda said there was need to guard public funds.
“As a nation we have experienced serious cases of abuse of public finances in both Government and local authorities through various acts of corrupt,” he said.
“I feel there is urgent need by the Government to expeditiously establish a commercial crimes court that specifically deals with crimes associated with the mismanagement of public funds so that culprits are brought to book.”
Dr Chakunda said stiffer penalties must be given to those who violate the laws associated with handling public finances or resources.
“Reports from the Auditor General reflect that there is no vibrancy in the internal audit system in the local authorities, parastatals and quasi national institutions in all ministries,” he said.
“Going forward, the office of the internal auditor should be strengthened in terms of accountability so that the position is detached from being a subordinate of the chief executive in any organisation.”
Dr Chakunda said public finance must be directed towards national development, adding that there must be special provision for marginalised areas so that they enjoy socio-economic benefits of the country.”
Dr Chakunda said bad corporate governance was also rampant in parastatals, making it easy for management to loot the institutions which are already saddled with heavy debts.
“It is imperative that public finance management system and audit processes do not allow such trends of late submission and or non-submission of reports for audit to go unsanctioned,” he said.