PAC SHOULD TAKE FAIR SHARE OF THE BLAME FOR MR.KABWE’s BEHAVIOUR.
PAC is a public accountability body which should be respected and given full support. Witnesses and institutions called to appear before this body are supposed to help the committee arrive at well-reasoned positions, on the findings of the Auditor General.
Chanda Kabwe occupied a public office which was accessing public and donor funds intended for use in responding to disasters and emergencies. As National Coordinator, he was a custodian of public interests, and he is therefore accountable to the nation through the mechanisms and platforms laid down by the constitution.
Therefore, the arrogance and disrespect shown by Chanda Kabwe to the Parliamentary committee, should be condemned in the strongest terms. Mr. Kabwe is not being denied the opportunity to defend himself, but this should be done with respect and in following the decorum of parliament
Also, PAC and the Chair of the committee should take a fair share of the blame for having condoned the uncalled-for conduct of Mr. Kabwe. PAC should not allow for such unfortunate precedent. It is important that the Speaker through the Clerk of the National Assembly write to Chanda Kabwe to express its disgust at his arrogant and disrespectful conduct. This should also serve as a warning to former senior Government officials who may be called to appear before the committee.
it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the roles played while in office are of public interest and all who hold these positions are accountable to the people even when they leave office. Again, we would go on further to state that this impunity is arising because of the long delay in handling of possible cases of impropriety and corruption by the UPND Government. The people who may have done wrong to this country have now found their voices and with impunity they want to claim their rights forgetting the many lives that may have been affected by their negligent conduct in office and the desire for illicit enrichment.
Parliament has an important oversight role to play as outlined in the constitution. The Public Accounts Committee is a key parliamentary body with a mandate to help Zambians understand how the public monies appropriated by parliament through the national budget, have been expended.
Nalucha Nganga Ziba
ActionAid Country Director