FORMER minister of youth, sport and child development Emmanuel Mulenga says he was never summoned by State House to explain the procurement of mechanical horses and fuel tankers, charging that the internal memo suggesting otherwise is “cooked”.
On Monday, the Parliamentary Public Accounts (PAC) heard that Mulenga was summoned to State House to explain why the donation made by then President, Edgar Lungu, on 15th August, 2020 to empower four youth groups with fuel tankers, had not materialised.
But in an interview, Mulenga said individuals revealing such information could have done something wrong and were just trying to cover up.
“As far as I am concerned I have never been summoned by State House. So ask the PS he has answers. You need to understand that the President has never donated anything to the youth groups. It was an empowerment which was given during the launch of the empowerment programme. The president never summoned me and neither did State House summon me to go and explain. Procurement of anything is done by the Ministry in the procurement department,” Mulenga said.
“I was not summoned by State House. Was that letter written by the PS? Was the letter saying I directed the PS? Where was the directive I made because that should be formal. The PS should be able to produce evidence that I gave such directives. If I gave any instructions, I mean it should be in writing. So if I gave that instruction, let the PS produce a letter of that instruction. I think procurement is in a position to answer. As a Minister, a Minister does not sit on any procurement committee neither did I sit at any procurement committee.”
Mulenga said Lungu had already given tankers to beneficiaries immediately after the youth empowerment programme was launched.
“So what happened in procurement, I do not know. So if there was that letter written by the PS, the PS should produce a letter which I wrote to him. I think he had his own interests because I never even saw that letter. The president or State House did not summon me. I have looked at the internal memo just now. This internal memo is a cooked memo and I can justify that. This internal memo was written on 4th September, 2020 but the youth empowerment was done on 15th of August, 2020,” said Mulenga.
“So if the president launched on 15th August, 2020, where did they get the trucks which the president gave out? It is not that he made a pronunciation. Trucks were given out with keys on the 15th of August. Then the trucks which were given out during the empowerment launch, so where did they come from? So the trucks were already given out by the president at Levy Mwanawasa on the 15th of August. It is that they did something wrong and they are trying to cover up. So the PS was supposed to produce the instructions or evidence I gave him. He has to answer the questions.”