Ndugai said by repeating the utterances that made the House take the resolution against him, the CAG had committed an offence that was tantamount to ‘contempt of Parliament.’
“Constitutionally Parliament is the only institution that the CAG works with, therefore if Parliament has refused to work with him, which office will he be working with? It is time for him to assess the situation and decide otherwise,” said Ndugai.
Speaking at a press conference in Dar es Salaam, Speaker Ndugai said the words used by Prof Assad against Parliament were disrespectful, and instead of being apologetic the CAG repeated the same words when he addressed journalists in Dodoma last week.
Ndugai said the parliamentary resolution not to work with Prof Assad was intact, clarifying however, that the report from the CAG will be worked upon by Parliament according to the constitution. The House will work with the CAG’s office and not Prof Assad, he reiterated.
“Even on the terms of reference there is nowhere it has been indicated that the CAG will audit Parliament. Actually his is an oversight office, to assist the National Assembly on its oversight role. Parliament regulates itself and its conduct through rules and regulations; there is no way Parliament can be audited,” said Ndugai.
He said Parliament has nothing to hide because a lot has been done to strengthen the use of public funds and follow-ups at local government levels, hence strengthening accountability.
The only way to end this situation includes the CAG going to the Head of State and explain to him the wrong he has done, “instead of putting the president in a situation which he is not supposed to be,” he stated.
Speaker Ndugai and CAG Prof Mussa Assad have been involved in an exchange of words recently.
Differences between the Speaker and the CAG started early this year after Prof Assad said in an interview late December with the UN Swahili Service that his institution prepares audit reports which are supposed to be worked upon by Parliament.
Prof Assad was quoted as having said: “If we are producing reports – and no action is taken – to me, that’s a weakness of the Parliament... I believe it is a challenge that should be worked upon…Parliament is failing to exercise its responsibilities effectively.”
In his response, Ndugai said that Prof Assad – a career lecturer of Accounting at the University of Dar es Salaam – should appear before the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee on January 21 –cautioning that if he fails to so appear, “then he will be brought before the committee in handcuffs.”
The CAG was questioned by the committee and reportedly stood his ground, saying the words he had uttered were common in accountancy.
The House later passed a resolution not to work with Prof Assad, a decision that is still intact at present.
The CAG last week insisted that the word ‘weak’ was common in his profession, declaring that he would not stop using it.