Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has urged parliamentarians to be courageous and hold powerful people to account for their actions, saying such authority is provided for in the Constitution.
Adv Mudenda said this while addressing legislators attending a Parliamentary Budget Office Workshop.
“I want to give you courage, especially the Public Accounts Committee, Budget and Finance Committee and chairpersons that as you do work, especially after the new Constitution, you may be seen to be stepping on other people’s toes in the executive; that calls for courage of conviction,” he said.
Adv Mudenda said portfolio committees should follow up on recommendations they made with ministers and Government officials to ensure their implementation.
He cited a number of committees that produced reports on the state of affairs at various State enterprises and institutions, but whose recommendations had not been implemented.
Adv Mudenda said the Constitution empowered parliamentarians to hold public figures to account.
“It is excellent work that the committees are doing, but your recommendations are not being taken seriously,” he said. “The question being asked is: what next?
“Why is Parliament failing to bite, why are your committees failing to bite? This is what I suggest when you have made recommendations, can you do an administrative audit. Do an administrative audit to say this recommendation was made in April and the time line for fulfilment is end of May 2017, so the committee clerk must come up with a template on recommendation number one, that’s the time frame.
“Now, if that time frame comes, what’s next? If it’s the Minister of Mines you call that minister. Say, minister if no action has taken place we charge you with contempt of Parliament. Let’s hear those charges coming.”
Adv Mudenda urged the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to follow up on its report on the state of affairs at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, which showed that Permanent Secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga sat as a one-man board.
“You are biting for the people of Zimbabwe when we have a properly constituted board at MMCZ, you are going to find that the funds that come through that board are going to benefit the people of Zimbabwe,” Adv Mudenda said.
In its report, the committee accused Prof Gudyanga of unilaterally running parastatals under his ministry and practicing nepotism after appointing people from his rural home to some senior positions.