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Recommend my arrest if it feels I abused my office, Chanda Kabwe lashes out at Parliamentary Committee

Former Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe has lashed out and dared the public accounts committee to recommend his arrest if it feels he abused his office in the procurement of reusable face masks for 58 districts that were at the risk of the covid-19 pandemic.

During its last sitting, the public accounts committee heard that DMMU received presidential directives to procure reusable facemasks costing k50, 450,850 and did not follow the right procedure to identify the suppliers.

The auditor general’s report revealed that there was no transparency or terms of reference to indicate how suppliers were identified, rendering the procurement of reusable facemasks costing irregular.

And according to the needs assessment conducted by the DMMU, it was supposed to procure 4.2million re-usable face masks, but the unit instead procured 5 million masks representing an over procurement of 845,689.

It is against that background that the PAC summoned the former DMMU national coordinator to appear before it, but he did not avail himself during the last sittings until today.

Appearing before committee yesterday, Mr. Kabwe lashed out at the committee which he felt was interrogating him, further complaining that he was not availed with the queries that were raised by the auditor general and therefore felt he was not in the capacity to respond to some of the questions raised by the committee.

Mr. Kabwe also told the committee that he is ready to pay the price if it is established that the procedure in procuring the facemasks was not followed.

Mr. Kabwe who advised the committee not to interrogate him like he was before the court said, the DMMU in partnership with other stakeholders kept revising the plan to cater for new development.

He explained that the decision to procure the face masks was arrived at with the involvement of all stakeholders, further stating that in the cases were it appeared as though procedure was not followed, this was a matter of emergency and people’s health and lives were at risk as the covid-19 was an foreseen development.

Meanwhile public accounts committee chairperson warren Mwambazi assured Mr. Kabwe that he was not being interrogated and all questions put to him were procedural and in accordance with the set parliamentary guidelines.