In Summary

Speaker of the Parliament Job Ndungai said yesterday that the legislative body will work on the latest audit report by the Controller Auditor General (CAG), dispelling assumptions that the body may dodge its responsibilities of making the government accountable if it decides not to work on the reports. On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the Parliament resolved to stop working with Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Prof Mussa Assad after the latter’s ‘weak Bunge’ remarks.

Dar es Salaam. Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai said yesterday that Parliament would work on the Controller and Auditor General’s latest report.

He reiterated that Parliament would continue working with the National Audit Office of Tanzania, but was not willing to work with the incumbent CAG, Prof Mussa Assad.

Parliament resolved earlier this month that it would no longer work with Prof Assad after he termed the legislature “weak”. The CAG’s 2017/18 audit report was submitted to President John Magufuli last month and tabled in Parliament last week.

Prof Assad held a news conference in Dodoma last week during which he shared snippets of the report.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Ndugai also asked Prof Assad to seek audience with President Magufuli and ask for his pardon for a “mistake he may have committed unknowingly”.

“We expect Prof Assad to make a decision that will benefit all the parties involved. We have refused to work with him, and he cannot work with any other entity,” he said.

But Prof Assad told The Citizen later yesterday that the Constitution clearly outlined action that could be taken against the CAG. “Read Article 143 of the Constitution, which outlines what action can be taken against the CAG. It doesn’t say anything about explaining oneself,” he said.

Mr Ndugai said the CAG’s report will be submitted to Parliament’s oversight committees – including the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC) and Public Investments Committee (PIC) – which will scrutinise it and propose a way forward.

“The audit queries have been submitted to Parliament. Those who have been adversely mentioned will be summoned before the committees. Also present will be MPs, officials from the CAG’s office and other supporting staff,” he said.

He said that was the normal procedure in handling CAG reports, adding that those adversely mentioned must be assumed to be innocent until they respond in person to queries raised in the documents.

Findings from Parliament’s scrutiny of CAG’s reports are supposed to be forwarded to the government in the form of recommendations, which must be worked on in the short, medium and long terms.

Earlier, Mr Ndugai said that he was out of the country last week when the CAG report was tabled in Parliament.

While abroad, he attended an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting in Doha, Qatar.

He also met with Tanzanians living in various countries when he was invited to officially launch the Tanzania Diaspora Council.

Mr Ndugai said the diaspora has asked to be directly involved in building the country’s economy through investment and international trade between Tanzania and Tanzanians living abroad.