P0AC asks for Trade Ministry report on lost govt vehicle, laptops

18Aug 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
P0AC asks for Trade Ministry report on lost govt vehicle, laptops

THE Parliamentary Public Account Committee (PAC) has directed the Ministry of Industry and Trade to provide a clear report on the loss of government vehicle and two laptop computers.

Members of the committee also questioned why ministry’s property in Dubai and London was not included in the audit reports submitted to the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).

The said vehicle with registration number STK 4744 reportedly disappeared about five years ago yet no action has been taken on any one even though it got lost under the watch of security guards.

While reports show that a police case was opened on the loss of the vehicle on July 5, 2012, no arrest has been made on the same.

A similar scenario was realised by the committee members on the loss of two lap top computers that reportedly disappeared May 5, 2012 at the ministry’s offices and it has remained unclear who stole the machines.

Reading the recommendations, committee deputy chairperson Aeshi Hilaly said the team was not satisfied with explanations given by the ministry over the loss of the vehicle and other government property worth millions of shillings.

The Sumbawanga MP (CCM) said: “The committee hereby directs the permanent secretary to submit a full report on the loss of the vehicle on August 19, 2016 to the office of the National Assembly clerk.”

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Adelhem Meru, agreed to submit the report as was directed by the committee. However, he also gave clarification on the ministry’s offices in Dubai and London.

He denied the ministry had buildings in the two cities, except offices at the country’s embassies in each city where just a few officials represented it.

“No government property has been lost in the said cities...we had a few ministry officials with desks and a few computers within the country’s embassies,” he stressed.

He said the ministry, however, planned to close the offices following changes in policy, adding that talks on the same were going on with the government.

On the loss of the vehicle, he said the ministry had taken various steps including reporting to the police and added that investigations were still underway. The same case applies to the loss of computers, he said.

Earlier, Special Seats MP Tunza Malapo (CHADEMA) blamed the ministry officials for not doing enough to protect government property, including bringing back stolen assets.

She argued that despite the realisation that the vehicle was stolen while under custody of a security company, no one has been taken to task on the matter.

“There is no record on what action was taken by the authority after the reported loss of the vehicle, apart from the mere mention that a police case was opened on July 5, 2012,” she said.