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Immigration Dept fails to explain K5 billion expenditure

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The Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament Monday sent back Ministry of Home Affairs stakeholders, including an official from the Department of Immigration, for failing to explain how the department used money amounting to K5 billion to purchase uniforms and other accessories at the Immigration Department.

An Auditor General’s report of 2012-2013 financial year has revealed that the Immigration Department lost a whopping K5 billion in the procurement of substandard quality shoes and excess uniforms.

The report indicated that the department procured 600 uniforms when it had employed 315 employees in 2010. The report further indicates that prices were bloated by millions from the initial price signed in the contracts.

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After the committee asked the controlling officer to explain why uniforms were purchased in excess of the requirements, the officials only said they regret the circumstances, saying it was only an anomaly.

The committee then asked the team to go out for some minutes in order to provide room for an in-house meeting on the development.

After the team had returned, the committee told the team that since among the team there was no one that had made decisions for the Immigration Department to lose the billions, it was appropriate that the team should report back to the committee on September 19, accompanied by the Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama and Chief Immigration Officer, Masauko Medi.

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Pac Chairperson Alekeni Menyani said, the committee will task the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) to carry out an investigation into the issue.

“The Immigration Department sent a junior officer who does not know and does not make decisions. This is K5 billion of people’s money and the person who was making the decision, the Chief Immigration Officer mentioned in the report at that time is the one who made the decision to allow for an expenditure of procuring uniforms way ahead before recruitment and much more than the number that was going to be recruited, yet less uniforms were supplied to the department. We want those that were making the decisions to answer us,” Menyani said.

The report indicates that some of the companies that supplied the uniforms include SF International, Yanakis General Import and Export and Africa Commercial Agency.

Menyani said at some point in time the companies will also be summoned to appear before the committee to explain the undertakings as they were in receipt of public money.

Home Affairs Principal Secretary, Sam Madula, who was answering most of the questions in the meeting, refused to comment on the matter after the meeting.

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