Kamlepo Kalua urges for patience on 13 files
As pressure is mounting on Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament to release content of 13 files connected to the abuse of K236 billion, the committee Vice Chairperson, Kamlepo Kalua, has called for patience.
Kalua, who has all along been vocal asking for dismissal of the seven cabinet ministers purportedly mentioned in the 13 files, claims there are some finer details of law that are preventing him from releasing the names.
“Once we clear these litigations and legal issues, I am telling you I will not falter even if it means me losing the parliamentary seat. I am prepared to lose it. At the moment, we are trying to separate these files because some of the seven cabinet ministers are hiding behind the so called 13 files. There are about nine files that these cabinet ministers are found in and we have to go deeper and fish them out,” Kalua said.
The committee was expected to release the 13 files on January 31 this year, but according to its Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, they failed due to the absence of the Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya.
Although Kalua, who is the also Rumphi East Member of Parliament for People’s Party (PP), said the committee is focusing at making sure that they bring enough evidence to secure conviction of the cabinet ministers.
“If we just release for the sake of public demand, and for them to know, when in actual fact we will not achieve the desired results, then that will be disaster. We need to prosecute people that we feel have been cornered and we will win the cases in the court of law. Some of these people are sophisticated. It is a syndicate hence we need to be careful. If we can do that we will arrest corruption in this country completely.
“There are seven cabinet ministers involved and my interest has always been with these ministers and not the 13 files. These seven ministers are [allegedly] deeply involved in this scam and are actually walking free in the streets, boasting that they are billionaires, when this is Cashgate money. We need to pin these people and I will not tire or falter, until justice takes its course,” he said.
Kalua on the other hand said they will not be interested to discuss names of companies which were already cleared by either the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) or Attorney General.
“We will, however, not tackle matters bordering on national security,” he said.
The MP then challenged that if people think he is just making noise, they should wait for the time the cabinet ministers will be prosecuted.
“I understand there are over 30 files and some of them are already with the courts hence re-doing them will be prejudicial. So, we need to go through other files that have not been dealt with the courts like the 13 files that have [names of] seven cabinet ministers. We should pursue them so that we know who these people are and the public should appreciate that what we were telling them was true,” he said.
The audit was conducted by a British firm RSM Risk Insurance LLP but Auditor General, Stephenson Kamphasa, did not release the names based on legal opinion received from Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale.
Preliminary audits of government finances between 2009 and 2014, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and financed by the German government, indicated that at least K577 billion could not be accounted for. But later, the estimated loss was reduced to K236 billion.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues