PARLIAMENTARY Portfolio Committee on Information Communication Technology chairperson, Nelson Chamisa yesterday warned ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira against interfering with its processes by querying why suspended NetOne chief executive officer, Reward Kangai had been called to give oral evidence.
Source: Chamisa warns minister over Parly ‘interference’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 23, 2016
by VENERANDA LANGA
Kangai appeared before the ICT committee on Monday to give oral evidence on why he was suspended as NetOne CEO.
Mandiwanzira appeared before the committee months ago and gave oral evidence about corruption at NetOne, saying he was instituting a forensic audit and was leaving no stone unturned to get to the bottom of all fraudulent deals.
But Chamisa said the committee was playing its oversight role and could not be questioned for giving a chance to people involved in the $248 million NetOne base station tender saga to give oral evidence.
“In terms of the Constitution, Parliament must be open to the public, and when we invite people to give oral evidence, the committee will have made that resolution on the basis of the Constitution and Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders,” he said.
“We hear oral evidence from all relevant parties in order to have a complete story. We need all interested players to speak and all stakeholders have a right to be heard. In fact, Parliament cannot be stopped from investigating an issue because there is a forensic audit taking place, and we are also looking forward to the forensic audit.”
In a statement, Mandiwanzira insinuated the committee was trying to pre-empt the auditors by inviting Kangai to give oral evidence.
“I am aware that the Parliament hearing and other activities that I have ignored are meant to pre-empt the audit report and intimidate the auditor. These cheap efforts shall not succeed,” he said.
But Chamisa warned such utterances by Mandiwanzira might constitute contempt of Parliament.
“The minister (Mandiwanzira) is the one who came to Parliament and raised these issues about Megawatt and Bopela (Group of Companies) and that is why we invited Kangai. In fact, the minister’s conduct is now bordering on contempt of Parliament because he cannot veto committee hearings and cannot supervise Parliament. It is Parliament that supervises the minister because he has to account to the public. The minister will have his day and, for now, he must not try to intimidate the committee.”
Mabvuku-Tafara MP, James Maridadi (MDC-T) yesterday raised Mandiwanzira’s statement in the National Assembly, saying it constituted contempt of Parliament, but Deputy Speaker Mabel Chinomona ignored the point of order.