PAC Wants RBM Boss Either Fired Or To Resign: He Deserves Jail For His Role In Cash Gate
The Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament has revived its call for either the dismissal or resignation of the Reserve Bank (RBM) Governor, arguing that in sweeping the mess that Cashgate created in the public finance system, no institution should be treated as a sacred cow and that he must be jailed for his wrong doings.
The committee says in its monitoring of investigations and relevant progresses related to the plunder of public funds at Capital Hill, particular attention is also being paid to the central bank which it argues played a role in Cashgate.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Times, after a report on his committee’s review and analysis of the Performance Audit Reports and the Treasury minute and Cashgate-related issues had been adopted by members of Parliament (MPs), Pac chairperson Alekeni Menyani reiterated that RBM contributed significantly to Cashgate.
“As a committee, we are saddened that government continues to treat RBM as a sacred cow in Cashgate… We expected that while the broom of justice is sweeping through, it should not bypass RBM,” said Menyani.
The previous committee members of Pac also demanded the resignation of the RBM Governor and the call was reiterated by the current committee’s first report that tackled Cashgate, among other issues. This fresh recommendation is the third.
Soon after the news of the Cashgate, veteran politician, who was also central bank governor for many years, John Tembo described as ‘strange’ claims that RBM was not aware of the looting of public resources.
Tembo told The Daily Times then that it was unimaginable that huge sums of money were being withdrawn without the central bank’s knowledge.
“It’s very strange to hear that billions of kwachas were being withdrawn without RBM knowledge. It’s even more suspect that something was wrong. My experience as a former governor tells me that something is amiss here,” added Tembo.
However, in a separate interview, another former central bank governor Mathews Chikaonda differed with Tembo, saying those pointing fingers at RBM are ignorant of how the institution operates.
Chikaonda said during his term as RBM governor all government accounts were moved from account number one to commercial banks. He said since that time the central bank is no longer involved in such transactions.
The current RBM governor Charles Chuka has on several occasions denied any wrongdoing that deserves such an action.
He once said he is clean and that the central bank did everything by the book.
Meanwhile, Menyani has also asked government to show commitment towards addressing the K92 billion that was also allegedly plundered from public coffers before the Cashgate which is being concentrated on now.
“We want the current administration to exonerate itself on this K92 billion if they are really clean on it. Otherwise, people are justified to suspect that the issue is being treated with less attention because it concerns those who are now in power,” said Menyani.
The National Audit Office (NAO) recently disclosed that the audit on the K92 billion plunder was originally planned to take 18 months from which nearly eight months have been consumed.
Pac has also expressed concern over government’s continued use of what the committee calls an out-dated version of the Integrated Financial Management System