29 November 2012

Zambia: National Women's Lobby Welcomes Funding of First Lady's Office

THE Zambia National Women's Lobby (ZNWL) has distanced itself from Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC)'s opposition to the allocation of funds to the Office of the First Lady.

ZNWL chairperson Beauty Phiri said in a statement yesterday that her organisation was delighted that the Office of the First Lady has been funded in such a transparent manner.

Ms Phiri noted that all past First Ladies had activities attached to their offices funded by tax payers' money which was never audited because no one could trace the vote of the expenditure.

She called for the office of the First Lady to be made a constitutional one as that would foster good governance and accountability.

"It is our considered view that if NGOCC wanted to oppose the allocation in question, it would have done so at the stage when the yellow book of the Budget was published," Ms Phiri said.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba has castigated the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) over continuous attacks on the K1.5 billion budgetary allocation to the Office of the First Lady.

Mr Kabimba, who is PF Secretary General, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the UPND should desist from using the matter to push a hidden political agenda.

"The UPND has MPs in Parliament and I don't know what they are trying to pursue on this matter, this issue has already been finalised in Parliament," he said.

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