The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has penned the office of the Auditor General to probe government agencies that got part of the K6.2 billion for various COVID-19 cluster activities.
This follows public outcry that the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) might have failed to manage the resources accordingly as evidenced by failure to release information on how the money was used.
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, during a recent national address on the COVID-19 situation in the country disclosed that K6.2 billion was released to DODMA to help with the fight against the pandemic.
However, the remarks by president Chakwera raised questions on why the country was grappling in the midst of significant resources.
Chairperson of the Committee Shadreck Namalomba said the outcome from Auditor General’s report will prompt the committee to conduct public inquiry on how the COVID-19 funds were used.
“We will wait and make our stand known after the report. What we all want is the Auditor General’s office to institute an audit and produce a report on how the funds were spent in details, from their will take up the matter.”
Also the erstwhile governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has demanded an immediate audit on how the COVID-19 funds were spent.
DPP Spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira said his party wants answers from Auditor General and submit the report of the outcomes to PAC.
In a statement, Mpinganjira said:
“If found that these funds have been stolen or misappropriated, the responsible officers must immediately be arrested and prosecuted under the laws of the country.”
In his fifth National Address on COVID-19 situation, Dr. Chakwera gave 48 hours ultimatum to controlling officers or cluster heads to produce reports and account the funds to Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
The 48 hour deadline has since passed but health minister Khumbize Chiponda has said the report will be sent to the President by tommorow, Wednesday.
President Chakwera warned he will fire any controlling officer or head who will fail to account for the K6.2 billion.