Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara has dismissed assertions by the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Shadrec Namalomba, that Secretariat of Parliament barred his Committee from conducting a probe into the K30 billion scam.
Malawian taxpayers have allegedly been swindled the amount through a dubious fertilizer deal by the Ministry of Agriculture and a United Kingdom-based butchers – Barkaat Foods Limited.
Last weekend, Namalomba issed a statement announcing that his Committee would summon and quiz Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, Principal Secretary Sandram Maweru, and 10 other senior government officials on the role the played in the deal.
However, just as members of Parliament were warming up to start its inquiry, Namalomba was informed that the investigation could not proceed because of there is still an outstanding case at the High Court over the chairmanship of the Committee.
This prompted the embattled chairperson to accuse Speaker of the National Assembly of applying selective justice.
Namalomba wondered why Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa continued to discharge his duties amidst a court battle over his position.
But addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday afternoon, Gotani Hara dismissed the accusations, saying her office did not stop him from probing Lowe and the others.
Gotani Hara said her office recognizes Namalomba as the legitimate PAC Chairperson as determined by the High Court.
At the same press briefing, Public Appointments Committee Chairperson, Joyce Chitsulo, also refuted the claims Namalomba made.
“It’s not true that parliamentary secretariat barred PAC from meeting. It is the Committee of Chairpersons that am holding that made the decision of which Namalomba is part of that determined that PAC meetings must be suspended until final court determination on the matter and we all agreed ,” said Chitsulo.
Speaker Gotani Hara has since announced that Namalomba will be travelling to Liberia as PAC member to represent Malawi Parliament.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :