The directive by the Attorney General to have the audit and investigations of all constituencies completed before prosecution of legislators suspected of abusing the Constituency Development Fund has no bearing on their mandate, the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs has said.
In an interview with ZBC News on the progress made in the audit and investigations of the Constituency Development Fund, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Advocate Eric Matinenga said the directive by the Attorney General, Mr. Johannes Tomana, to have all the investigations completed first will have no effect to their operations.
â€œI want to make it very clear that what the Attorney General said has no legal basis and therefore has no effects to our current operations.
â€œWe are only carrying out our mandate as the Ministry to make sure the public funds are put to good use and we make recommendations to the police or the Anti-Corruption Commission on irregularities we discover during our audit,â€ said Mr Matinenga.
Minister Matinenga said his Ministry has audited 65 out of the 210 constituencies countrywide, adding that only five auditors have been doing the job.
He however revealed that 12 more officers have been seconded to the Ministry from the Public Service Commission in a development which may speed up the process.
Contacted for comment, Attorney General Johannes Tomana declined to give a response.
The Attorney General had given a directive that the Mministry and the Anti-Corruption Commission should bring a comprehensive audit and investigations of all constituencies after the arrest of four legislators.
The directive also ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission to stop arresting legislators pending the finality of investigations of all constituencies.