BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
LEGISLATORS have demanded that the Finance ministry must bring a list of all exchange rate manipulators to Parliament and those who have benefitted from the foreign currency auction system.
This was after Finance deputy minister Clemence Chiduwa failed to reveal the beneficiaries and companies that violated the foreign currency auction system during Wednesday’s National Assembly question-and-answer session.
MPs had asked Chiduwa to explain government policy on exchange rate violations.
“Whenever we come up with policies, we need to make sure that we minimise the arbitrage rates. All companies that abuse the auction system will be blacklisted. Treasury also uses civil and administrative charges and fines; we do not go to court,” Chiduwa said.
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa (Independent) said: “Can you bring that list of all who have benefitted and a list of those who violated the exchange regulations so that we name and shame them and exercise our oversight role as Parliament.”
Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese (CCC) said the Finance ministry must also produce a comprehensive statement explaining the disparities in the auction system and the parallel market exchange rate.
In an unrelated matter, MPs also grilled Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo over a possible tender scandal whereby government allegedly acquired fire tenders from Belarus on behalf of all local authorities at questionable prices of US$464 296 each when they cost between US$26 000 and US$30 000 in Malaysia and China.
The country has 92 local authorities in total, meaning that over US$42 million will be used to procure the fire tenders. Marondera Central MP Caston Matewu (CCC) demanded to know why government was getting involved in local authority tender processes.
Mliswa said the Local Government ministry violated procurement regulations, while Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure demanded that Chombo must also bring the tender documents to the House.
Chombo responded: “We follow procurement regulations, and there is nowhere that my ministry has by-passed those processes. If you feel we did not follow tender instructions, you are free to put your requests in writing so that we provide the details.”