Audit exposes 9,800 ghost workers in Zambia's public service

  • World
  • Tuesday, 06 Sep 2022

LUSAKA, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of 9,800 ghost workers were being paid salaries in Zambia's public service even when they were not rendering any public service, an audit by the country's Office of the Auditor-General revealed on Monday.

This follows an audit of government payroll for the financial years from 2017 to 2021.

Dick Chembe, the Auditor-General, said the audit has established that the ghost workers were from 19 different government ministries.

He told reporters during a press briefing that irregular payments were also being made to 22,000 other public workers who were not stationed at their pay points while 87 people from three ministries diverted salaries into their personal accounts for people who were no public workers.

He further said the government lost colossal sums of money through such irregularities.

He added that 18 government institutions recruited over 13,000 people without treasury authority while the ministry responsible for education illegally put 299 teachers on payroll without the approval of the Teaching Service Commission, a government institution that manages human resources and quality of education in the teaching profession.

A parliamentary committee has since urged law enforcement agencies to take a keen interest in the revelation and bring the culprits to book.

Warren Mwambazi, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, said law enforcement agencies should follow up the cases raised as it represents gross mismanagement of public resources.

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