Dar es Salaam. The Speaker of the National Assembly Mr Job Ndugai said yesterday that his office has written a summons to the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Prof Mussa Assad, to appear before a parliamentary committee in Dodoma on January 21.
Mr Ndugai confirmed to The Citizen in an interview, two days after he held a press conference in Dodoma and ordered the CAG to appear before the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee where he would be interrogated over a statement he made recently in the US which the Speaker says undermines the supremacy of Parliament.
“We have already written the summons. We follow the legal process,’’ said Mr Ndugai via telephone. However, the Speaker did not reveal whether or not the summons had been sent to the CAG.
“That’s not my job to say whether it has already been sent to him or not. All you have to know is that the summons is ready,’’ he said when asked whether the CAG had acknowledged receipt of the same.
This comes after the CAG held at interview with United Nations Radio in the United States of America during which a journalist asked him to give his opinion over reports that some of the issues raised in CAG’s annual reports were not being addressed adequately by bodies responsible including Parliament in its oversight role.
The journalist cited reports suggesting that the CAG’s office prepared reports which revealed that some funds in public institutions had been missing or misused and sought to know from the CAG how this matter had been addressed.
The CAG’s interview response, published online over a month ago, prompted Mr Ndugai to hold a press conference saying that Assad will have to face a parliamentary committee over his remarks, which the Speaker says were disrespectful to Parliament.
Ndugai said, Prof Assad, who formerly taught at the University of Dar es Salaam in the capacity of Associate Professor, should appear before the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee on January 21.
“If it is an issue of fabrication, then the CAG and his office are also fabricators. You can’t speak about your country badly when you are in a foreign country,” said the vividly angered Speaker.
He said he personally has been disappointed by Prof Assad’s remarks.
“I never expected an educated person of Prof Assad’s caliber to utter such remarks. He has embarrassed the Parliament that has more educated people than at any other time since independence,” he said.
Apart from Prof Assad, Mr Ndugai also wants the Kawe Member of Parliament (MP), Ms Halima Mdee, to appear before the same committee to respond to allegations of disrespecting the Parliament.