via Mliswa demands probe on Joshua Nkomo statue construction March 6, 2014 by Veneranda Langa NewsDay
ZANU PF Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa on Tuesday demanded a probe into how construction of the Joshua Nkomo statue ended up being carried out by a North Korean company when the tender had been awarded to a local sculptor David Mutasa.
Mliswa said this while debating a motion on corruption which was introduced last week by MDC-T Kambuzuma MP WilliasMadzimure where he suggested it was high time tenders involving large sums of money went through Parliament.
Madzimure’s motion was aimed at ensuring Parliamentary committees were capacitated and strengthened to carry out oversight roles and enforce good corporate governance.
Mliswa said there was rampant corruption in the awarding of tenders by the State Procurement Board and proposed that tenders worth more than $5 million be subjected to parliamentary scrutiny.
“I must say Mr Speaker on a sad note that the statue of our late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo which is in Bulawayo right now was made through a tender which was won by a Zimbabwean David Mutasa, but it was then given to the North Koreans to do that sculpture,” Mliswa said.
“How sad is it that a Zimbabwean wins a tender to actually do a sculpture of UbabaWethu Joshua Nkomo, but we still allow the North Koreans to go and do the sculpture for us?”
Mliswa said favouring the North Koreans with the Nkomo statue tender was against the spirit of patriotism.
“We have our own Zimbabweans who are able. We should promote our own culture and we should promote our own arts, but we are supporting the arts of the North Koreans at the end of the day. It is very sad that UbabaWethu sculpture was made by the North Koreans yet there are Zimbabweans who won the tender, and who could have done that,” he said.
The statue was erected at the centre of the intersection of JM Nkomo Street and 8th Avenue in Bulawayo, and was officially unveiled by President Robert Mugabe on Unity Day, December 22, 2013.
Bulawayo-based civic society groups protested at the initial erection of the statue in 2010 after it emerged that it had been built by North Koreans.
North Korea-trained members of the notorious Fifth Brigade accused of killing more than 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and some parts of Midlands during the Gukurahundi era in the early 1980s.