Govt withholds Katopola’s car


PARLIAMENT has been withholding a brand new Toyota Prado vehicle it bought for Clerk of Parliament four months ago as it awaits legal guidance from the Attorney General (AG).

Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda confirmed this in an interview with The Sunday Times on Friday.

The current embattled Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola is pursuing a case at the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) where she wants the Court to declare her as having been constructively expelled from Parliament.

She wants government to compensate her with money amounting to K900 million to carter for what would have been her salaries, benefits, and retirement package calculated up to the year 2030 when she would have officially retired.

Chimunthu Banda explained that the truth is that at the time when the Clerk of Parliament was leaving office in May, a procurement process for the vehicle had already been undertaken and they were only awaiting delivery.

“The process was instituted after her vehicle was involved in an accident so even when she had left office, there is no way we were going to stop the process,” he said.

The Speaker said they approached the AG on what they should do on her remuneration and benefits, which include paying school fees for her children, soon after the court cases commenced and they were advised to continue providing these benefits which they still are.

“But upon the delivery of the vehicle, thaey went back to the attorney general to request fresh guidance on what they can do with the car.

“We have written the Attorney General twice and we are at the moment awaiting his guidance,” added Chimunthu Banda.

He said the vehicle has developed problems since it is just staying idle in the garage at the Parliament premises.

Attorney General Anthony Kamanga told The Sunday Times Saturday that the matter was between Parliament and his office.

“I have seen some correspondence on that matter and there is an officer working on it,” said Kamanga.

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