The African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption says Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Warren Mwambazi should recuse himself from PAC hearings following revelations of his involvement in the supply of questionable Covid-19 items to DMMU.
And Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has reserved her ruling on a point of order which questioned why Mwambazi had continued to chair PAC when a company linked to him was scheduled to appear before that committee.
In a statement,Thursday, APNAC Secretary General Munir Zulu said given the gravity of the allegations, Mwambazi should recuse himself from the PAC hearings with immediate effect.
“We have noted with serious concern the allegations raised against the Public Accounts Committee Chairperson, Hon. Warren Mwambazi MP with respect to his involvement in the questionable supply of Covid-19 items to DMMU amounting to over K14 million. This makes sad reading. Given the gravity of these allegations, it is our considered view that Hon. Mwambazi recuses himself from the PAC hearings as Chairperson with immediate effect until such a time when he will be cleared of these allegations. This is purely in the spirit of upholding the credibility of the Public Accounts Committee,” Zulu stated.
Zulu, however, commended PAC’s continued efforts in ensuring that public resources were accounted for.
“The African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Zambia Chapter has keenly been following the hearings on the supply of Covid-19 items to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit following the irregularities highlighted in the Auditor General’s report. This has consequently led to the summoning of the previous Head of DMMU to account for these irregularities before PAC. As APNAC Zambia, we commend PAC in its continued effort of ensuring that Public resources are prudently accounted for,” stated Zulu.
Meanwhile, Mufulira PF member of parliament Golden Mwila on Wednesday rose on a point of order, asking whether Mwambezi was in order to continue as PAC chair when a company linked to him was scheduled to appear before the committee.
“Madam Speaker, bordering on the fairness and impartiality of the functions of your committees, Madam Speaker, you may be aware that various committee have been sitting and one of those committee is Public Accounts Committee. And among the issues that the Public Accounts Committee is looking at is the procurement of Covid-19 supplies which were procured by the DMMU and the previous government. And it is in public domain, Madam Speaker, that your committee has summoned the suppliers of these Covid-19 to come and answer to some queries. Now information has emerged, Madam Speaker, that among the companies that have been summoned to appear before your committee is one linked to the current chairperson of your committee. Madam Speaker, I seek your ruling if the current chairperson of this great important committee is in order to continue chairing your committee knowing very well that one of the companies linked to him will soon be appearing before the committee to answer some of the very pertinent questions that have been raised. I seek your ruling Madam Speaker,” said Mwila.
Speaker Mutti reserved her ruling for a later date, saying that the matter needed thorough investigations.
“Honourable member for Mufulira you are raising that and you know we are not privy to what is happening in the committee. You have just raised the issue, it needs to be investigated. So I will reserve my ruling on that matter after conducting a thorough investigation of what is going on in the committee and render a ruling at a later date,” said Speaker Mutti.