Lusaka: Three civil society organisations have challenged the next government to imp-rove transparency and accountability in utilisation of public resources. During dissemination of the budget execution and service delivery barometer report for July to December 2010 on Monday, the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) and the Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), noted with concern the continued misappropriation of public resources.
CSPR acting executive director Mwila Mulumbi said there was need to heighten levels of transparency in public funds utilisation. "Based on the six scores, the July-December 2010 Barometer rated government poorly on its management and execution of poverty reduction funds. The government was given a score of 35 per cent, a mere four per cent increase from the January to June 2010 barometer, which scored 31 per cent," she said.
"The report shows that while there was notable improvement in allocations and budget releases to poverty reduction programmes in the period under review, irregularities still appeared in critical areas of the PPPs, hampering actual effect on poverty reduction."
Mulumbi said the report further revealed a poor score of 39 per cent on the government's performance in relation to transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public resources.
And Transparency International Zambia executive director Goodwell Lungu observed that the fight against corruption in the country currently had been limited to mare rhetoric with no actions. Lungu said there was need for government officials to start publishing the disbursements for public scrutiny to allow transparency.
And SACCORD executive director Lee Habasonda said there was need to promote communities' voices in the budget preparation and execution.