Home Affairs authorities are stirring the police to thoroughly probe how a loan authorisation bill appeared on Parliament’s Order Paper without following laid down procedures.
Without due clearance from relevant offices, the bill was meant to seek authorisation for the government to borrow about K93 billion for the construction of houses for various security agencies.
Following the revelations, the police yesterday arrested presidential aide Martin Thom and Director of Debt and Aid Management at the ministry of finance, Nations Msowoya, for alleged involvement in the matter.
In a very surprising twist of events, Thom was released on bail barely hours after his arrest.
Lawyer Sylvester Ayuba James confirmed that his client was bailed out after being charged with 4 counts of abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud, making false documents without authority and uttering a false document.
While names of high-profile public service, State House and Parliament official are being floated around as likely accomplices in the scandal, police and Parliament officials are opting to keep mum as developments unfold.
Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda who is also Leader of House in parliament, refused to comment on the arrest, but confirmed the bill process was unprocedural.
“I will not comment about the arrest and whatever the court processes and everything else, because that is now going to court, the truth of the matter is that the bill was never presented, never debated or carried out by parliament,” said Chimwendo Banda.
The development is meanwhile attracting distasteful comments on various social media platforms where many are describing Thom’s arrest as a mere smokescreen.
Chimwendo Banda is since calling on the police to investigate and get to the bottom of the matter to find out how the legal procedures were flouted.
President Lazarus Chakwera has since announced the immediate termination of Thom’s contract as Special Presidential Assistant.