Parliament grills Nzenza over NSSA audit

BY VENERANDA LANGA

LABOUR minister Sekai Nzenza yesterday came under fire from opposition MPs for taking an audit report for the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to her lawyers before presenting it to Parliament as required by law.

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) fired the first salvo, saying: “In terms of sections 298, 299, 300 and 309 (3) of the Constitution, which talk about the Auditor-General’s role, when an audit report comes out, it should be tabled before Parliament, but the minister decided to first report to her lawyers and not to bring the report before Parliament,” Mliswa said.

Nzenza said the forensic audit identified four areas which are being deliberated on by the board and lawyers who will then give her advice before the report is tabled before Parliament.
But MPs from the opposition interjected, saying the minister was trying to doctor the report.

Mliswa added: “In terms of the Audit Office Act, it is very clear that forensic audit reports must be laid before the Speaker before it can be given to anyone.”

His views were corroborated by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda who said Nzenza should have followed the Constitution.

“Mr Speaker, the board is deliberating on the report and let me give you a timeframe because the report has not been distributed widely because there are only two copies. Let me envisage that the findings will be ready in 30 days,” Nzenza said.

Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala (MDC Alliance) said Nzenza must follow the law and after being pressured by MPs, she then approached the Speaker to explain the situation.

The Speaker then ruled that Nzenza was studying the report and would avail it before the House and take questions from MPs concerning its contents.

Meanwhile, Energy minister Fortune Chasi is today expected to deliver his ministerial statement on the energy situation in the country.

Last Monday, Mudenda barred all questions on the fuel situation, promising that Chasi would, the following day, issue a comprehensive ministerial statement on the situation. But on the day in question, Chasi said the document was not yet ready, raising the ire of opposition legislators.

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