46 The issue of High Court privilege does not have any merit in the eyes of the Committee. High Court privilege is limited to few and narrow instances such as self-incrimination.
47 High Court privilege is also subject to public policy. There is no public policy in the world that provides privilege to any entity being investigated for corruption and abuse of public resources.
48 The Committee found the stance taken by Univern to be obstructive, unlawful and unconstitutional, more so when it had in fact provided unsubstantiated evidence in the first meeting.
49 Furthermore, it was in their best interest to in fact rebut the serious allegations of fraud made against same by the Forensic Audit Report. Indeed only crooks and criminals can wish to avoid the gaze of people, exercised through Parliament. Only those with something to hide will find excuses of not testifying before Parliament.
50 Given the frequency in the number of private actors that are pleading the defense of the High Court privilege before Parliament, it is time the National Assembly makes a strong point on this issue and if need be seeks a declarator from the High Court.
51 Both the Forensic Report and the Auditor General’s audit reports disclose an unacceptable situation at ZINARA, one of complete capture and broken sound governance systems in breach of the Constitution as well as the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.
52 There were no checks and balances. Money was distributed at every level from the board to ordinary workers without respects to budgets, rules and sound principles of corporate governance.
53 It appears that every layer of the institution was pampered with resources in order to turn a blind eye to the massive looting that was taking place virtually at every level of the organisation.
54 The Auditor General’s reports and the Forensic Report contain massive detail of the breakdown and it is not the Committee’s intention to reproduce all the failures. The Committee will simply highlight the most striking instances.
55 Without approval from the parent Ministry, fees and allowances were paid to board members.
56 Table 1 below captures the payments:
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