Leader of the opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile says the Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Greenwell Mbozi is breaching the Constitution by refusing to submit information to the Auditor General’s Office.
Mundubile who is also one of the Patriotic Front(PF) presidential candidates said the Auditor General’s Office has a Constitutional mandate to audit all ministries and spending agencies.
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He said it was a big concern that one of the biggest ministries in government expenditure, the Ministry of Agriculture was frustrating the efforts of the Auditor General.
Mundubile said the Zambian people, especially Members of Parliament, were keen to know the Auditor General’s opinion regarding the Ministry of Agriculture, which had questionable expenditures and transactions.
“We have learnt with concern that the Permanent Secretary is refusing to give information to the Auditor General as required by law. We are told that as early as January 2023, this information was requested for by the Auditor General and three months later, the information has not been given.
“What this means is that the Auditor General will not be able to render an opinion on the Ministry of Agriculture and this is one Ministry where we are all interested to know how the United Party for National Development (UPND) Administration has managed the affairs of the Ministry,” he said.
Mundubile said President Hakainde Hichilema should take interest in the issue and ensure that the matter was resolved accordingly.
“We are dealing with a matter that is Constitutional and the refusal by the Permanent Secretary should be something that should attract the attention of the President,” he said.
Mundubile said Secretary to the Cabinet has not acted on the inadequacy exibited by the Permanent Secretary, and the Secretary to the Treasury who equally supervises Controlling Officers.
“What we are getting appears to be that no body is paying attention to what is happening at the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.
Contributed by Julius Phiri
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