INTERVIEW EXCERPTS: “Arrest & Prosecute Corrupt Public Officers” – Auditor-General

Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri (MC) has urged law enforcement arms of the government to take action on her recent audit report. Chiri’s recently released audit report exposed corruption, misappropriation of funds, theft and abuse of power in most ministries, government departments, local authorities, State enterprises and parastatals. Speaking to the Herald’s Investigations and Special Reports Editor, Daniel Nemukuyu (DN), in an interview, Chiri said that lack of action on her recommendations in the past years has enhanced maladministration practices in the public sector. Below are excerpts from the interview:

DN: Assessing information gathered during the audit exercise, where exactly are the parastatals, local authorities and Government departments getting it wrong?
 There is need for enforcement and consequences for non- or malperformance. Non-action on reports is also to do with inadequate enforcement.

DN: What criteria do you use when referring certain cases to the investigating arms?
 We do not outline any criteria, but leave it to law enforcement arms who are experts to go through our reports.

We give copies of our report to the investigating arms to study them and determine matters that lend themselves to criminal allegations for their action.

DN: Most audit reports expose corruption in the public sector annually, but a little is done to arrest the culprits. What is your comment on that?
I encourage the law enforcement arms of Government to go through my reports and take appropriate redress measures on issues that lend themselves to criminal prosecution as we are fighting the same battle of promoting accountability and transparency.

DN: Any words of advice to the ministries, Government departments, parastatals, local authorities and State enterprises on best governance and financial appropriation practices?
I also urge ministries, local authorities and State enterprises to implement the recommendations that I have highlighted on each finding. They can apply any alternative measures that best address the findings because the ultimate objective is to be fully accountable to the taxpay.

More: The Herald

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