PAC must quiz BoZ over Intermarket – Milupi

Opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) president Charles Milupi has asked the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to question the Bank of Zambia’s negligence at Intermarket Banking Corporation.

Milupi who served as PAC chairperson when he was Member of Parliament said members of parliament must summon Bank of Zambia as a statutory body to explain what transpired.

“They (PAC members) ought to do something about it because the Bank of Zambia is a statutory body. The happenings at the statutory body in terms of financial procedures at Intermarket Bank, have to be scrutinised by PAC.”

In November last year, the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) took over Intermarket Bank, stating: “the financial service provider is unable to continue its operations in the ordinary course of its business”.

But last week, Finance minister Felix Mutati told Parliament that the bank would be open to the public within the next 30 days.

“… the pronouncement of the minister are subject to scrutiny by parliament and parliamentarians are not doing enough to scrutinise and hold him to account,” Milupi said.

Milupi said the finance minister should have been more transparent by telling the Zambian people the names of the new shareholders.

“The people want to know what has changed now at Intermarket, they want to know who the new shareholders are, how much money the bank has raised and for how long it can remain solvent once reopened. People are demanding to know where the Bank of Zambia, the regulator went wrong, how they allowed this situation to happen because people had no access to their savings and capital,” he said.

“The Intermarket Bank situation needs to be fully explained and understood, to prevent people from withdrawing all their deposits once the bank opens, a situation that will lead to the bank becoming insolvent again. I’m no longer in parliament but … if they had a parliament that was working they would have taken him to task.”

Milupi who was Luena MP from 2006 and 2011 wondered whether the current PAC had the teeth to bite.

“I don’t know who the (PAC) chairperson is… but our governance system is an accountable system. So those who are in the executive cannot just be making frivolous statements to hoodwink the Zambian people,” he said.

“The parliamentarians are there to protect the interests of the citizens through holding those in the executive to account through questioning their decisions. That is the status of our democratic governing system.”

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