Members of Parliament this afternoon rejected a K19.8 billion allocation to the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) over the conduct of Secretary to President and Cabinet (SPC) Collen Zamba.
Parliamentarians initially shot down the OPC vote before approving it later.
According to the MPs, they did not want to pass the vote for OPC because Zamba refused to appear before a joint parliamentary committee that was investigating the fuel procurement scandal last year.
Thyolo Central MP Ben Phiri said it did not make sense for Parliament to approve the vote for OPC when its controlling officer, Zamba, has always refused to appear before Parliamentary committees.
However, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe argued that the allocation also serves the president, former presidents and vice presidents.
“The controlling officer is no bigger than this vote because it covers all presidents including the former presidents,” said Gwengwe.
Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda said Zamba had committed to appear before the respective committee’s from now onwards.
Despite the pleas from the government side, Parliamentarians shot down the vote.
The Government then demanded that the matter should be decided by a division vote where each MP votes yes or no.
However, Leader of Opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa, asked government to withdraw the division, saying his side had decided to go procedurally.
The MPs then went on to approve the K19,.8 billion allocation.
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