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Pac backtracks on Cashgate names

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The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) of Parliament will not make public names of people implicated in the K236 billion forensic audit any time soon as promised as Speaker Richard Msowoya wants to seek a second legal opinion.

Pac Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, disclosed in an interview on Thursday that Msowoya has advised the committee to wait until he seeks a legal opinion on whether disclosing the names will not attract any legal action against committee members.

“The tussle with the Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale, has been an issue that the Speaker wants to get a second opinion [about] so that we are on the safer side. The ACB is not briefing the committee on progress. So far it is frustrating to say the least.

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“The Attorney General in gagging stakeholders indefinitely on this matter has put us in an awkward situation because being a committee that serves public interest, we are under obligation to make public issues of such a nature,” Menyani said.

He could not state as to when Msowoya will be ready with the opinion but called for patience from the public as the committee untangles itself from the legal situation.

Last month, the committee again failed to disclose names of suspects identified in 13 files of the forensic audit reports due to unavailability of Msowoya who was outside the country.

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Earlier Menyani explained that the information is expected to come through the Office of the Speaker and since he was out of the country, there was nothing much the committee could do but to wait for the Speaker’s return.

Pac wants to use its discretion in naming and shaming the public officials and business persons involved in the alleged plunder of public funds.

The funds were reportedly stolen from the public coffers between 2009 and December 2014.

Auditor General (AG), Stephenson Kamphasa, has come under pressure from parliamentarians to make public the names of the individuals and companies implicated in the scam

Kaphale moved in and gagged Pac as well as graft–busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the National Audit Office (Nao) after giving a legal opinion on the matter.

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