Africa-Press – Malawi. Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara has blocked Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament from investigating the alleged plunder of K30 billion meant for Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
PAC chairperson Shadric Namalomba called for a meeting of the committee to investigate the alleged looting of the AIP funds by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Ministry of Agriculture officials.
However, Parliament led by the Speaker Gotani Hara, who is a member of MCP, stopped PAC from holding meetings citing a case which is in court, bordering on leadership of the committee, as the reason.
Namalomba has since described the Speakers’ actions as a deliberate attempt by the MCP side not to allow PAC to do an enquiry on the fraud and looting allegations which he said has dominated in government.
This afternoon, Hara held a press briefing where she dismissed allegations that Parliament is trying to prevent its Public Accounts Committee from conducting inquiries into alleged plunder of public resources.
The Speaker said her office already set up a joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the fertilizer deal, saying this has been done to allow more committees to probe the matters together as they concern different stakeholders.
“We are talking about fertilizer so committee of agriculture has to be there and the committee of agriculture had already requested to say we want an investigation on this but we said no can we bring all the teams that are interested in this matter together so that we have a rich investigation.
“So we will also have the budget committee which allocates money to government which is very important and very critical, the public accounts committee which is supposed to follow up on issues like this one, the agriculture committee which is a very interested stakeholder because they want to know how fertilizer is being procured and the statutory corporation committee which looks after statutory corporations because we know there are issues of other statutory corporations that are being mentioned.
“That joint committee should be working in the very next few days, all we want is for them to do the work for the Malawians to benefit. So I just wanted to assure Malawians we are not here to block committees from investigating issues that are in the public domain,” said Hara. Hara further indicated that Parliament still recognizes Namalomba as Chairperson of the committee after the court reinstated him as Chairperson.