The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has exposed a scam in the ministry of Local Government and housing involving allowances totaling about K1.2 billion paid out to officers for activities not undertaken in most instances.
During the review of audit queries for the ministry highlighted in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2012, one of the activities which came out prominent as having been undertaken on a monthly basis in 2012 was stock verification, which however the Director in charge of authorizing the activity denied authorizing the verification before later acknowledging authorizing the same.
The Director who had also earlier denied signing for the allowances he is purported to have received despite documentation showing he had signed for the allowances,later acknowledged receiving payment for certain months for the stock verification exercise contradicting his earlier statement that a director cannot engage in stock verification.
The Director who had difficulties explaining his role in what acting PAC Chairperson Felix Mutati described as the allowances gallow failed to answer clearly most questions asked by Committee members prompting the Committee to adjourn the session to this afternoon to allow the officials from the ministry of local government to seek further advice from the accounts department and avail other officers who also received the allowances.
Former local government permanent secretary Bernard Namachila was also named as being one of the people who received the allowances beyond the 30 days in month as stipulated.