Public Accounts Committee has goofed on this
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Pac) has, for the past month or so, been scrutinising audit reports for various government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). It has been a revealing exercise so far because it is from these meetings that we have learnt about the shocking abuse of resources in our MDAs.
Out there, people have had information about the blatant mismanagement of public resources because the media have diligently reported on the meetings. Without the media, the meetings would have been nothing but closed sessions and the nation would have been kept in the dark.
It is because the media had been present in the meetings that Malawians came to know about how much money we have been losing in the years tracing back to the audit reports in question.
We are, therefore, shocked that, suddenly, Pac has decided to stop the media from attending audit scrutiny meetings. What is more suspicious and discouraging about the decision by Pac is that it has chosen to shut out the media from the scrutiny of the audit of the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
Each year, we have had to question the bloated allocation of resources to the OPC. There has been a general discourse that the money that is allocated to the OPC does not make sense and is subject to abuse. And the tales about abuse there are not new.
But, for whatever explanation, Pac decided to be secretive when scrutinising such an important audit. By being selective, Pac is being unfair not only to the public but to the other MDAs whose tales were flown for all to read and hear.
We agree with Media Institute of Southern Africa-Malawi Chapter that Parliament has goofed since it is the very same institution that has been telling us that it wants to bring Parliament to the people.
Whatever pacifying steps it will take, Pac has, by closing the door on the media during that important session, denied Malawians an important opportunity and, for that, we condemn the committee.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues