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Mthuli Ncube's officials fail to appear before Tendai Biti

by Staff reporter
21 Jul 2020 at 09:24hrs | Views
FINANCE ministry permanent secretary George Guvamatanga and his ministry officials yesterday failed to appear before the Tendai Biti-led Public Accounts Committee to give oral evidence on the Finance Adjustments Bill after officials in the ministry contracted COVID-19.

PAC chairperson Biti told journalists that Guvamatanga had written to Parliament indicating that some Finance ministry officials had contracted the coronavirus and were in quarantine.

The Financial Adjustments Bill is about the US$10,6 billion government over-expenditure incurred from 2015 to 2018 without Parliament approval.

The Finance ministry has now brought the Bill before Parliament to seek condonation (forgiveness) for the over-expenditure.

"As you are aware, today we were supposed to continue with our enquiry on the Financial Adjustments Bill and receipt of oral evidence from the Ministry of Finance secretary Guvamatanga and his officials, but regrettably we received a letter on July 17 2020 from Guvamatanga indicating that they are unable to attend because of a COVID-19 situation at the Ministry of Finance," Biti said.

"We accept this explanation because we regard the pandemic as a serious matter and because we do not want to expose anyone else to the virus.

"We are going to hold this enquiry in abeyance for a period of four weeks because we want the Ministry of Finance officials to exhaust issues to do with quarantine and isolation and that is why we were generous to say four weeks," he said.

Biti said on Monday the PAC would begin its investigations into the Zesa Holdings audit by AuditorGeneral Mildred Chiri.

"We will commence enquiries into the audit report on Zesa and its four subsidiary companies on an audit by AG Chiri and PricewaterhouseCoopers for the 2018 audit. The report is very extensive and covers a number of issues including the Dema power plant, and the issue of Wicknell Chivayo's Intratrek in Matabeleland North. We have invited Zesa officials and the board to give oral evidence," Biti said.

Source - newsday

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