Eight of the 74 Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development employees interdicted on no pay over allegations of fraud have gone to court to seek leave of judicial review over the matter.
The matter has since been scheduled for hearing tomorrow.
Court documents show that the respondents include Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, the ministry’s principal secretary Erica Maganga and Department of Human Resource and Management Development.
Reads the application sheet: “The plaintiff is seeking a leave of the judicial review over the decision by government to interdict them on no pay.”
Three months ago, 74 Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development staff were interdicted over allegations of embezzlement of millions of kwacha through self double allocations of salaries and creation of ghost workers.
The ministry’s spokesperson Hamilton Chimala on Wednesday refused to comment on the matter, saying the case is still in court.
The 74 technical officers include 31 support staff from human resources, IT and finance departments. The fraud is suspected to have been committed between 2012 and 2013.
The interdiction has come at a time when several reports from different ministries are revealing poor financial administration, with donors calling for action.
Recently, an audit report from the Ministry of Health revealed that over K2 billion was squandered under the Centre for Disease (CDC) project on HIV and Aids.
In an interview, Secretary to Treasury Ronald Mangani said: “Treasury is examining the facts surrounding the reported misuse of funds at the Ministry of Health, in consultation with all the responsible offices of government. The general public should remain assured that action commensurate with the facts of the matter will be taken by government. n