The Parliament yesterday took the government’s act not to present names of individuals and companies that benefited from the 1.7trn/- stimulus package in the House as ‘deliberate’ disrespect of the former’s directives.
The government came up with the package in 2009 to rescue the economy in the wake of the global economic crisis.
In a supplementary question, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North, Chadema) said the government was showing “disrespect” and neglect by failing to work on decisions made by the House.
“I want to know when the government will start to respect directives issued by this House?” Kabwe said, referring to the former’s failure to present names and firms that benefited from the stimulus package, after the Parliament had issued a directive.
The Parliamentary Public Organizations Accounts Committee (POAC), which is headed by Kabwe, had tasked the Controller and Audit General to conduct special audit on the stimulus package—including tracing individuals and companies that benefited from the economy-rescue drive.
According to him, the CAG had already completed his work and presented the report to the government, but the latter had been dilly-dallying in presenting the same in Parliament.
During the audit, he said, CAG uncovered massive corruption and financial irregularities on the package expenditures.
“The CAG report shows that 18bn/- was paid to ghost companies and expenditures and 48bn/- had no supportive documents and receipts,” Kabwe said.
“The other time, Speaker of the National Assembly Anna Makinda, directed the government to bring here names and companies of beneficiaries of the stimulus package, but nothing has been implemented todate…I see this simply as disrespect on part of the government,” the POAC chairman said.
Responding, Finance minister Mustafa Mkulo said it is not true that “the government does not respect directives given by Parliament…. We are still waiting for the CAG to finish compiling the report on the stimulus package.”
In August last year, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda told the House that the government would issue a statement on the issue and names of companies which benefited from the 1.7trn/- dished out by government to rescue the economy in 2009.
“We will issue a statement and names of companies which benefited from the stimulus package because I believe this was done in good faith and there was no secrecy,” Pinda had said.
The Premier was responding to a question by Kigoma South MP David Kafulila who had wanted to know the reason for the government’s delay to issue a statement on the 48bn/- which the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) said had not been accounted for.
Kafulila had said that the delay made people to believe that there were some government officials implicated in misappropriating the money.
When MPs demanded that the beneficiaries of the 1.7trn/- stimulus package be made public yast year, the Finance ministry looked reluctant saying the matter was confidential under the country’s banking laws.
Special Seats MP Leticia Nyerere had once questioned the government reluctance to make public firms which had benefited from the stimulus package, noting that it was against parliamentary rules and procedures to deny MPs access to information they needed.