The Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament is on Monday, August 2, 2021, expected to meet the Leader of Opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa, and other members of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 Response over millions of Kwacha allowances they received from the K6.2 billion funds allocated towards the fight against the pandemic.
PAC is a parliamentary committee that provides checks and balances with regard to use of public finances. It invites public officers, including ministers, Principal Secretaries (PSs) and other government ministries, departments and agencies officers for questioning and issues reports and recommendations, usually subsequent to public audit.
The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 Response appeared before PAC in April as part of an on-going inquiry that PAC has been conducting to consider and scrutinize the investigative audit report on the usage and accountability of the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds.
During that inquiry, PAC expressed deep concern that Nankhumwa and others were paid millions of Kwacha in allowances for fuel, accommodation and motor vehicle maintenance. Nankhumwa alone reportedly received over K3.5 million.
According to Chairman for PAC, Shadreck Namalomba, PAC has invited members of the taskforce who may have received allowances, procedurally or not, to hear their side of story following a taskforce report presented to Parliament recently, which contained details of the allowances.
There had been a public uproar following revelations of the allowances with many quarters, including the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), calling on Nankhumwa and others to give back the money.
Ironically, following the revelations of abuse of the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds, Nankhumwa spoke strongly against it and demanded that President Lazarus Chakwera should order a forensic audit to establish whether or not the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and some government clusters abused K6.2 billion, which was released by government to help in the fight against the pandemic.
A forensic audit was conducted and suspected culprits, including District Commissioners and City CEOs and staff and other senior civil servants were implicated. They were interdicted and some were arrested. However, no-one has been convicted yet and almost all interdicted civil servants are back at work.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :