Statement by Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP in the National Assembly

The closing remarks by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms. Baleka Mbete during the debate on the Parliamentary budget are shocking and preposterous.

Her condonation of the abuse of public money by the Parliamentary officials, who blew R1m on a holiday spree in London, led by the Secretary of Parliament, is a clear demonstration of arrogance and abuse of power.

Ms. Mbete has absolved the Secretary and his officials of any wrong doing. Interestingly, ten minutes before the debate, the she delivered a letter to me, responding to a request I made, on the 14th of April 2016, for an investigation of a possible irregularities related to the so-called benchmarking trip.

In her reply she says, “Regarding the request for Parliament to investigate possible irregularities, kindly note that the matter is receiving attention by the Executive Authority. A response will follow in due course”.

Hardly, two hours later, the same Speaker says, nothing was wrong with the trip and everything was above board. Where did she get this information when the request for investigation is still being considered?

The conduct of the Speaker is the same as that of her travelers in the ruling party, who are led by a President who has neglected his oath of office.

It appears, with the permission of the Speaker, that public monies entrusted in Parliament are up for grabs by corrupt politicians and officials as long as they sing to the tune of the corrupt ruling party elite.

The Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 10 of 2009 is very clear on General Financial Management Functions. It instructs the Secretary who is the Accounting Officer of Parliament to ensure that Parliament’s resources are used effectively, efficiently, economically and transparently. The Speaker, without any investigations, says all is above board. What a shame!.