PAC challenges critics: ‘We don’t work like court’

Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are challenging their critics who are accusing the parliamentary committee of wasting time by conducting hearings on the cashgate scandal which have failed to get information that Malawians would hear from the authorities under probe.

Many Malawians are expressing dissatisfaction on way which the just ended hearings on the scam were handled saying the questions which PAC members were putting to the interviewees were too shallow lacking expertise and interviewing techniques.

University of Malawi Professor of law Edge Kanyongolo is among those expressing dissatisfaction over the handling of the interviews saying PAC failed big time to make the former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo reveal relevant information concerning the financial scandal and his shooting.

Mphwiyo who returned from the South African hospital where he was receiving medical attention after surviving gunshots in September was seen by many Malawians as a key person who had details leading to the cause of the scam which came out soon after his shooting.

Mussa: We dont work like a court

But after his appearance before PAC concerns were raised with many Malawians saying it turned Mphwiyo into a national hero as he outwitted the PAC members who ended up in clapping hands for him.

“PAC could have asked Mphwiyo probing questions that could make him reveal some of the vital information the members of the general public wanted to hear from him,” said Kanyongolo.

But a member of the committee Henry Mussa said PAC is satisfied with the way it was conducting its interviews saying the committee does not functions like a court.

“Our role is to provide the oversight function as far as the public resources expenditure is concerned by dwelling of transparency and accountability; how transparent of that transaction? How accountable was it? Was it efficient and economical for the benefit of Malawians?” he said.

However bilateral donors to Malawi under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (CABS) have expressed shock at the just ended PAC hearings.

They have accused PAC of hijacking the role of the law enforcement organisations such as the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Malawi Police, Office of the Auditor General and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) whom have all gone flat out amassing huge evidences to prosecute offenders.

“We are very saddened, most Malawians we believe are also saddened that information that may help to prosecute the perpetrators of what you now call Cashgate scandal is being trivialised as a talk show with an important legislature committee of Parliament being in forefront,” said the diplomat who opted for anonymity.

The diplomat said the donors have been discussing to see how they will try to get a common understanding whether Malawi PAC views the role by the International Forensic Experts, useless.

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