We welcome the money trail embarked upon by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, which will no doubt help re-instil the confidence that Malawians once had in those mandated to provide oversight to government and public institutions.
It is indeed fundamental that every Kwacha or tambala of taxpayers’ money that is spent by capital hill be accounted for, and in this case, there is no harm in the committee wanting to scrutinise the car deal that was entered into by the government and HTD that dates back to 2009.
Just the other day, the same committee had taken to task the Judiciary, asking its officials to produce within fourteen days, documents pertaining to a contract with a certain firm plying in the construction industry.
This is exciting news because for a long time, critics have argued that those tasked with oversight roles are lacking the teeth with which to bite, and indeed we have seen government officials being let off the hook when their ministries and departments have been queried for flouting procurement procedures.
It is frustrating to be constantly hearing stories about the siphoning of money from the public system and yet the country’s hospitals are reeling heavily under pressure due to a lack of essential supplies such as medical drugs.
That aside, we would want to remind our legislators, especially those in the committees, that they should not think that theirs is a sacred cow. We are throwing in this aspect considering the several queries pertaining to parliament’s handling of its finances.
Not long ago, some legislators were implicated in the misappropriation of Constituency Development Fund – CDF and the country’s Finance Minster Goodall Gondwe had even at one point threatened to go public with names of those smeared in such matters. This is the more reason we are urging our honourable parliamentarians to make sure that while holding others accountable, they should also clean their house.
After all, the good book says you have to clear the spec in one’s eye before removing the log in someone’s eye.
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