The cat and mouse chase game between the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts and energy firm, Sakunda Holdings once again unfolded this morning with Sakunda issuing a letter of postponement of the scheduled meeting on the basis that its chief executive officer, Kuda Tagwirei was out of the country.
This is the Public Accounts Committee’s fourth attempt of an engagement with Sakunda Holdings management to inquire into over a billion United States dollars the company is alleged to have received from the government under the controversial Command Agriculture program.
The committee chair, Tendai Biti told press this morning that the energy company officials had “consciously arrogated” the role of the committee having failed to pitch up at prior call ups on 23rd of October, the 28th of October and the 5th of November.
“A few minutes ago we received a letter dated 7th of November 2019 addressed to the Clerk of Parliament Mr Chokuda and signed by the chief operating officer, Mr Mberikwazvo. C. Chitambo in respect of which they advised their chief executive officer, Mr K. R. Tagwirei was out of the country and needed to give evidence in person and wanted this committee to reschedule.
“On behalf of this committee I would like to express our extreme unhappiness with the arrogation, the conscious, deliberate arrogation by Mr Mberikwazvo Chitambo and indeed Sakunda of our function and role as a committee. We do not accept the attitude of Sakunda which we regard as contemptuous and disrespectful of the institution of Parliament,” Biti said.
Biti rubbished the letter saying the committee has asked for an engagement with Sakunda, the institution and not Mr Tagwirei, an individual.
The committee of Public Accounts has been doing a systematic and forensic trail on the government spending that was done outside budget which include the US$ 2.9 billion in 2017 and the US$ 3.3 billion in 2018 which have all pointed towards Sakunda Holdings.
Officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development planning who have appeared before the committee have confirmed transfer of various funds to Sakunda on multiple times.
But Sakunda has not stepped forward to give a detailed report on the alleged funds which it’s alleged to have received in exchange of its services in the command agriculture schemes.
The committee has however given Sakunda another chance to appear before and give its oral evidence this Friday, the 15th of November.