The Ombudsman’s office is investigating six top officials including the CEO Mervis Mangulenje of the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) for various allegations including abuse of office.
According to a letter addressed to the Fund’s acting CEO, the Ombudsman is acting on information implicating Mangulenje who is currently on leave and others in several malpractices.
In the letter, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma indicates that Mangulenje is being investigated on five charges including that she and the other NEEF officials were recruited un-procedurally.
Chizuma’s letter quotes the complainants as suggesting that the executive management was by majority nepotistic and that some of them were hired despite not having minimum required qualifications.
It further indicates that apart from their being irregularly recruited, the concerned executives themselves also irregularly recruited staff into the NEEF without conducting interviews.
It singles out the positions of Data Entry Clerk, Data Entry Officer, Human Resource Officer and Loan Officer Recruitment on Training as being among the posts under contention.
Further, Mangulenje alongside the heads of operations and finance, plus the Internal Audit Manager allegedly drew huge sums of in allowances ahead of the fresh presidential poll to recruit clients on political basis.
Apparently, the assignment that the top executives had embarked on was the responsibility of branch officers and not senior head office officers like them.
Ombudsman Chizuma’s letter also quotes an audit report by the Central Internal Audit Unit that established that 16 percent of sampled Ioan files were processed by head office staff after bypassing procedures including involvement of branch officers.
Furthermore, the Mangulenje and the other executives are accused of biasness in the disbursement of loans including facilitation and approval of loans to specific individuals of their interest.
Meanwhile the Ombudsman has called on NEEF executive to submit the concerned officers’ full recruitment details, all work-related trips and processes concerning the granting of the loans in question.