BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Sekai Nzenza says she has no obligation to table the long-awaited National Social Security Authority (NSSA) forensic audit report in Parliament.
The disclosure came after Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda on Wednesday summoned her to present the audit report.
Nzenza had told the National Assembly that the forensic report was not yet ready for
tabling in the National Assembly after MDC MP Tendai Biti demanded that it be brought
to the house.
“Mr Speaker Sir, I caught the tail-end of the question, but I know what the question
is about. It is about when I will present the results of the NSSA forensic audit I tabled here. I have now done enough consultation; there is no legal obligation for
me to table it. However, I can table it once annually. If they read it – I can
present it only once on an annual basis, that is what it says,” Nzenza said.
But her response attracted Mudenda’s attention, who said Nzenza was supposed to table
the report as she had promised the House before.
“Minister, if you recall at our meeting two weeks ago, you indicated, first you had
wanted to have 30 days, then later on you said you would bring the report to
Parliament within 14 days. What I would like to know from yourself is what has
changed?” Mudenda said. Nzenza said she had read the law and was not obliged to table
“Mr Speaker Sir, what has changed is that I have read the Act and I am also guided.
I have read the Act. I am supposed to table it. However, the Act does not give me the timeframe. I, as minister can make a decision to ensure, I would. The forensic audit is going to be available, but right now it needs to be unpacked by legal experts, and when it is unpacked and palatable and easier to understand, I shall bring it here Mr Speaker Sir,” she stated.
Mudenda then directed Nzenza to approach his office on Thursday (yesterday) together
with the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri.
“A question of law has been raised, I shall attend to the question of law together with the Auditor-General and if you can avail yourself Hon Minister, first thing tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 9am o’clock. I will make a determination accordingly,” he said.