By Elita Chikwati
The Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts yesterday directed Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda to issue a warrant of arrest against Fertiliser Seed Grain managing director Mr Steve Morland for failing to appear before it.
The committee also gave the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development the last chance to attend the committee’s hearings, failure of which Mr Chokuda will be directed to issue a warrant of arrest.
Briefing journalists in Parliament yesterday, the committee chairman Mr Tendai Biti said they were disturbed by the absence of the FSG and the Ministry of Finance.
“Today, we were supposed to receive evidence from a company called FSG,” he said.
“This company has been the recipient of millions of dollars under the Presidential Inputs Scheme. Consistently, FSG alongside Sakunda are key to the work that we have been doing in the last three months.
“We are therefore directing the Clerk of Parliament Mr Chokuda to issue a warrant of arrest against Mr Steve Morland the managing director of this company for default in attendance on October 14, 2019 and today October 27.
“We are extremely disappointed that while FSG has been quick to avail itself to another committee of Parliament on agriculture, they have avoided attendance at this meeting.
“We are summoning the same company to appear before our committee on November 22, 2019 together with another company that was a recipient of monies under the unallocated reserves that we are pursuing for 2017 to 2018, a motor vehicle supplier called Croco.”
Mr Biti said the committee was not happy that the Ministry of Finance had not availed itself before the committee.
“First, they insisted that they were attending a workshop at the Wild Geese Resort and on the second occasion they pretended that they did not know that they were supposed to appear before Parliament,” he said.
“We have insisted and we have made it very clear in our first report on the Ministry of Finance that the business of Parliament supersedes anything else that they may be doing.
“We enjoy a unique position, the privilege of pursuing every dollar that comes into the Consolidated Revenue Fund and every dollar that goes out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in terms of section 298 and 299 of the Constitution.
“We are saddened by the continuous disrespect for Parliament so we are giving the Ministry of Finance one more chance before we direct the Clerk of Parliament to issue a warrant of arrest.”
The Ministry of Finance was asked to appear before the committee on November 15. The Herald