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Government challenges K53 billion claim

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By Peter Kanjere:

MUSSA—The said claim is in the courts

The government has vowed to challenge what it brands as ‘dubious’ the K53.9 billion claim which two companies have made against the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.

Information and Communications Technology Minister, Henry Mussa, released a statement on Saturday in which he says the government will fight the matter in court to ensure that justice prevails.

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“It is the view of [the] government that the concerns being expressed relating to the matter are genuine and, we, therefore, are working tirelessly to protect the national interests.

“Suffice to say that [the] government is vehemently opposing and challenging the said claim in the courts of law. It is the unflinching position of [the] government that the said claim is dubious and aimed at defrauding Treasury and State coffers,” the statement says.

Two companies, Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company, are demanding the money in view of a K9 billion contract which Immigration Department awarded them in 2012 to supply uniforms and other accessories but delivery only started five years later.

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The deal sparked outrage after it emerged that the suppliers were pegging an immigration officer’s uniform shirt and a belt at K60,000 and K100,000, respectively.

Last week, the legal Department of Parliament stopped Public Affairs Committee from summoning top officials from the Immigration department, Secretary to Treasury and Attorney General (AG) to explain the companies’ demand, on the grounds that the matter is in court.

However, AG Kalekeni Kaphale told The Nation edition of Friday that the matter was concluded.  

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