via Parly moots probe team for ministers | The Herald March 7, 2014 by Zvamaida Murwira
Members of Parliament yesterday proposed a 13-member ad-hoc committee to investigate Cabinet ministers alleged to have received fringe benefits such as vehicles and fuel from parastatals they superintended.Mutasa South National Assembly Member Cde Irene Zindi (Zanu-PF) said the appointment of board members for parastatals in most cases had been based on nepotism, regionalism and cronyism.
She said this while moving a motion calling for the setting up of a team to investigate corruption in parastatals. Cde Zindi tabled the list of names of legislators she recommended to constitute the ad-hoc committee.
In subsequent debate, Mbizo MP, Mr Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) said once the motion was adopted, Cde Zindi should write to the Speaker of National Assembly Cde Jacob Mudenda to implement the motion through the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.
Cde Zindi proposed that she chairs the committee and other members she proposed were: Daniel Shumba (Deputy Chair, Zanu-PF), Willas Madzimure (MDC-T), Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu-PF), Mandi Chimene (Zanu-PF), Sarah Mahoka (Zanu-PF), Jonathan Samukange (Independent), Edgar Mbwembwe (Zanu-PF), Beata Nyamupinga (Zanu-PF), Temba Mliswa (Zanu-PF), Chief Fortune Charumbira, Makhosini Hlongwane (Zanu-PF) and Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T).
Cde Zindi said one of the terms of reference for the committee should be to investigate allegations that some ministers received vehicles and other goodies from parastatals falling under their portfolios. She said the committee should also determine the role played by ministers and permanent secretaries in ensuring good corporate governance in State entities.
Another term of reference would be the role played by the State Procurement Board in awarding of tenders and the criterion used to appoint board members.
Cde Zindi said there was need for Ministers and senior Government officials to resign once it became apparent that they would have benefited from an irregular transaction.
She said a precedent of Ministers resigning had already been set when Ministers Enock Nkala and Fredrick Shava resigned in the wake of the Willowgate scandal in the 1980s, while former Education Minister Edmund Garwe resigned after his daughter was caught with examination papers.
“Ministers should resign on their own accord,” said Cde Zindi.
Cde Zindi hailed Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo for playing a leading role in taking decisive action against corruption and mal-administration.
She said there was need to implement recommendation by former parastatals minister Gorden Moyo on corporate governance framework and guidelines which put the ceiling of the salary of chief executive officers at US$6 000.
Cde Zindi said allegations of financial impropriety has been levelled against state entities like Zimbabwe National Road Administration, National Social Security Authority, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Premier Services Medical Aid Society, Zesa and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
She said there was need to go to the bottom of the matter.
Contributing to the motion, Buhera South MP, Cde Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu-PF) said some state entities were buying vehicles for their board members as if they were executive directors.
“There is need for MPs and Ministers to declare their assets because we have observed lifestyles of some Ministers transforming overnight,” he said.
Mr Chikwinya said he did not agree with the Executive taking the lead role in investigating corruption because it was the very government arm being accused of either benefiting from the vice or failing to supervise state entities.