7 February 2014

Zambia: Finance Ministry Should Be Exemplary - Chikwanda

ACTING President Alexander Chikwanda has said the Ministry of Finance should act as a shining example to other ministries by avoiding the misuse of public funds.

Mr Chikwanda, who is Finance Minister, said it was only when there was less misuse of resources in his ministry that it could be in a better position to discourage other Government institutions from illicit practices.

He said this when he launched the HIV and AIDS, Wellness Workplace Policy for the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation in Zambia (GTZ) in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Chikwanda said his ministry was the 'nerve centre' which interacted with all Government institutions on a daily basis and was, therefore, aware of the huge development arrears.

"We know the extensive practices of resource misuse. We have no alternative to being a role model.

"It is only when we have least imperfections in terms of resource misuse that we can go out and stop the rot in other institutions of Government. Being healthy is our brief number one," he said.

On the HIV and AIDS, Wellness Workplace Policy, Mr Chikwanda said the wellness of the Ministry of Finance workforce assumed important dimensions for it to perform its functions.

"The Ministry of Finance HIV and AIDS, Wellness Workplace Policy initiative is very positive and is a move in the right direction.

"I have, therefore, deemed it an inescapable duty to grace the launch to underscore the significance and urgency that the Government attaches to these kinds of policy framework designs," he said.

He said the people were the greatest resource of any country, but was saddened to note that sexually transmitted communicable illnesses as well as non-communicable complications had claimed the lives of Zambia's most productive population.

"Our country is essentially a nation of you people. The zero to 30 age group accounts for 70 per cent of our population and 90 per cent of our population is 45 years and below.

"Our enhanced development prospects lie on the conversion of this young population into a productive and creative asset," Mr Chikwanda said.

GTZ country director Thomas Schaef said investment in such a policy would contribute to high productivity, continuity in operations and better service delivery at the ministry.

The overall objective of the policy is to enhance productivity at the Ministry of Finance through mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and other wellness issues into all the programmes.

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