By BENNIE MUNDANDO in Kalomo
THE UPND- controlled Kalomo District Council lacks transparency and accountability and does not involve the area’s members of parliament (MPs) in its development activities, an MP charged yesterday.
Kalomo Central Constituency MP Harry Kamboni told a meeting called by the community to review the performance of MPs, councillors, and the district council that he would personally never allow Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to be given to the district council to buy a grader because there was no transparency and accountability in its dealings.
And community members yesterday grilled district council UPND chairperson Coy Makaya over a vehicle procured for his office but has not been delivered despite K420, 000 being paid to Muchinga Emerging Market Suppliers last year for the vehicle.
Mr. Kamboni said he had no problem with the community suggesting that the council should procure a grader using CDF but that he must not be held accountable for any failure because the local authority had chosen to work in isolation.
“On a personal basis, I must say that I am not comfortable with giving the council money to buy a grader. We wrote a letter to ask a few questions about this vehicle that they have bought for the district council chairperson to which we needed an answer by December 14, 2018. To date, there is no answer. We don’t even know who was contracted to buy that car and yet we are partners in development.
As an individual, I am not comfortable because I don’t see any transparency and accountability in the council. If the councillors and the committee want to go ahead and give them that money, there is no problem but don’t come and ask me questions afterwards,” Mr Kamboni said amid cheers from members of the community.
Meanwhile, Mr Makaya was at the receiving end of the public barrage over the procured but yet-to-be delivered vehicle for his office as he was accused of flouting tender procedures in the procurement process.
One of the organisers of the community meeting, Linah McLeans, chided Mr Makaya over lack of transparency after he informed the meeting that the supplier had failed to deliver the vehicle but repaid the money.
“How true is it that the money was returned yesterday? How true was it that you did not know what the procurement team was doing yet you are the head of the district? Was it because we went to the media that we were swindled of money that you decided to pay back the money?
“How can we be sure that the money did not come from you? Where is the interest over the money which has been lying idle all this while? How many companies bid for that purchase and on which basis was that company picked.
Where is an advert for tender?” Lina McLeans queried Mr Makaya.
In response Mr Makaya said tender procedures were followed to purchase the vehicle although the company failed to deliver the vehicle and that there was nothing sinister about the whole transaction.