Mbabane: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has deemed the Central Transport Administration (CTA) General Transport Manager (GTM), Washington Khumalo as contradicting himself when he said he would train government transport officers on the operations of the CTA.
The GTM had appeared before the PAC to answer for the Chief Justice’s official car, a Trailblazer, which had been taken in at the government garage after it was allegedly involved in an accident. According to the AG’s report government paid E207 000 to re-fix the car.
Chairman of the PAC, Matsanjeni MP, Phila Buthelezi, condemned the lack of clear procedures on how cars are taken in and fixed at the government garage. During the PAC sitting last week the chairman reminded the GTM that last year he had told the committee that he would conduct workshops for transport officers on where to start when bringing government cars to the government garage, but what was amiss was that the GTM himself did not know what procedures are to be followed.
According to the GTM, the car in question was never involved in an accident but suffered a faulty engine, which was replaced. What baffled the PAC chairman was how an engine could cost in the region of E207 000 and that the PAC would be happy to visit the government garage to see the replaced one. The said amount was paid in 2017 while the engine was replaced last year. What also sent the PAC wondering was that there were many invoices for the same car all issued in the same year. Asked where-about at the government garage the engine was kept the GTM was unaware, which led to the PAC believing that they could be led to the wrong engine. In fact, the GTM confessed that he had neither seen the replaced engine nor the car in question but had heard about it through other support systems.
On another note, the PAC Chairman, Matsanjeni MP, Phila Buthelezi, mentioned that is disturbing for a parson of the status of the Chief Justice to be seen driving himself around. Buthelezi said to come across the CJ on the public roads driving his official cars was irregular and should be corrected. The chairman directed the statement to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Principal Secretary (PS), Lorraine Hlophe, who was also the controlling officer. The PAC punched holes in the operations of the CTA garage and said a lot had to be righted.
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