Monday 2019-10-21

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PM DUCKS PAC, PRESIDING OFFICER STAND-OFF

By Mbono Mdluli | 2019-08-14

Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini has decided to run away from a matter pitting the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and a certain presiding officer.

Dlamini said it was better for this matter to be addressed by structures of Parliament.

 “This matter should be better addressed by the structures of Parliament, with the PAC chairperson and the presiding officers taking the lead,” Dlamini said.

The prime minister was responding to a question posed by Motshane MP Robert Magongo. Magongo wanted the premier to clarify why the presiding officer did not appear before the PAC when told to do so.

“Could His Excellency clarify why a certain presiding officer was allowed not to appear before the PAC when invited?” Magongo enquired.

Magongo did not name the presiding officer he was asking the prime minister about. The prime minister, on the other hand, could not state why he thought this matter was supposed to be tackled by the structures of Parliament, and not by him, as the minister responsible for Parliament affairs.

Submissions

The Motshane legislator raised this question when making his submissions during the debate of the performance of the office of the prime minister for the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year. Magongo stated that he was not pleased by the attitude showed by the said presiding officer.

He said he heard while attending a Pan African Parliament (PAP) session in South Africa that the PAC had been stopped because it had summoned a certain presiding officer who refused to be summoned by the PAC to account on an assignment given to the officer previously. He vowed that they, as the House, were not going to accept the PAC report if it did not include the presiding officer’s appearance.

However, the prime minister, according to Magongo, should be wary of situations where he would find himself having his own people to protect.

The same issue had been raised by Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo during a 2019/20 first quarter performance debate of the ministry of public works and transport. Khumalo had asked Minister of Public Works and Transport Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe if they were going to be able to finish the Interchange Road in Manzini.

He said it was a pity because the ministry was the one that failed to finish the Nhlangano-Sicunusa road and when the PAC wanted to probe it, it was stopped. He wondered why the PAC was now told how and where not to investigate.

 

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