You have broken the law – GBM tells HH
…private auditors can’t audit security wings of the state
Former Defense Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, GBM, has charged that the government of President Hakainde Hichilema has contravened section 24(3) of The Public Audit Act which prohibits any private entity from auditing the defense and security wings of the state.
Mr. Mwamba says the act is intended to safeguard state security by limiting access to sensitive information. He says outsiders may not be expected to appreciate the strategic nature of the information they may come across if allowed access to security data.
He dismissed as grossly misleading, disappointing, and disheartening that government should defend their illegal action by saying that private auditors appointed to audit the Ministry of Defense will be restricted to food supply contracts only.
“Any military expert will tell you that food is as much a strategic element in national security matters as military hardware is”, Mr. Mwamba says. How much food a military buys and has in stock, Mr. Mwamba says could say to a significant extent what its strengths and weaknesses may be.
The aspiring candidate for the position of president in the Patriotic Front says President Hichilema is demonstrating the dangers of electing into the highest office in the land someone with no single grain of experience in government and public affairs.
Mr. Mwamba says the justification advanced by government is extremely careless while deeply troubling at the same time, adding, “these guys are toying around with the most sensitive nerves of statehood”.
As a former Defense Minister, Mr. Mwamba says he feels compelled and obliged to guide both government and the nation regarding matters of national security. Referring to Zambia’s geopolitical position, Mr. Mwamba says Zambia is located in a part of Africa that has seen political and security instability going back to the early 70s when the country hosted liberation war movements, hosting refugees, participating in peacekeeping operations and mediating in peace talks.
“We have remained largely peaceful because we have always invested well in our security apparatus which includes passing legislation that restricts who accesses sensitive information related to our security sector”, Mr. Mwamba says.
He has warned that President Hichilema risks harming the very constitution and state he swore to defend if he pursues his so-called fight against corruption without paying attention to the demands of the law. If he does not reverse this course, Mr. Mwamba has advised that the Law Association of Zambia and civil society must consider approaching the courts of law to interpret section 24(3) of The Public Audit Act.
The act reads, “despite the provisions of subsection (1) the auditor general shall not permit any authorized person, agent of specialist consultant to have access to any book, record, returns report or other document, or to enter –
(a) The premises of any component of the Defense Force, national security services or a law enforcement agency, or
(b) Premises other than those mentioned in paragraph (a) if such access of entry is likely to – (i) prejudice the security, defense of international relations of the Republic or the investigation or detection of offenses, or
(ii) involve the disclosure of any matters or deliberations of a secret or confidential nature of the cabinet or any committee of the cabinet
ISSUED BY MR. GEOFFREY BWALYA MWAMBA, GBM
PF MEMBER OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE AND CHAIRMAN FOR MOBILISATION AND ASPIRING CANDIDATE FOR THE POSITION OF PARTY PRESIDENT