via War in Parly over Gono – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 6, 2015
FORMER Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono might face contempt of Parliament charges for his public comments on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Debt Assumption Bill which MPs feel tarnished the image of the House.
Gono’s issue almost turned the House into a warring zone when chairperson of the Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Committee David Chapfika clashed with committee member Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC Proportional Representation).
The two argued over whether the committee had unanimously agreed to consider charging Gono with contempt, and later during debate MPs nearly fought forcing the House to be adjourned.
“We have observed with concern recent media reports which appear to be attributable to the distinguished former governor of the RBZ, which appear to tarnish the integrity of Parliament, its committees, myself as chairperson of the Finance and Economic Development Committee,” Chapfika said.
“Should this be proved correct, the former governor could be in contempt of Parliament.”
But, Misihairabwi-Mushonga immediately raised a point of order with the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda saying the committee had not agreed to consider charging Gono. She said it was an issue nicodemously included in the committee report by Chapfika and the former adviser to Gono Munyaradzi Kereke (Bikita West MP Zanu PF).
“There are things that the chairman is reporting about that were not resolved by the committee. We never spoke on the issues around the former governor and this could be an issue between Chapfika in his personal capacity and Kereke, but not certainly the committee,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.
When Chapfika was asked to explain the issue by Mudenda, he said the committee had agreed on looking at the possibility of charging Gono.
The Speaker then ruled that the committee had agreed on the talking points in the report and the issues about charging Gono.
While contributing to the debate, Kereke, who has been publicly fighting Gono, surprised the House when he thanked the former central bank chief saying he discharged his mandate well to superintend over the finances of the country.
But later there was a near fight in the House when Misihairabwi-Mushonga was contributing to the debate and she was heckled by mostly female MPs when she said they were debating from a position of ignorance.
She then completely lost her temper and challenged the male MPs to go outside and fight her, while she also used unprintable swearing words on the women who were heckling her saying they failed to support her as a woman.
The commotion caused the House to be adjourned as there was complete disorder and potential of a serious fight.
Generally MDC-T MPs seemed opposed to passing the Bill with Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa saying if Parliament passed the Bill they would be legislating illegality and condoning abuse of resources when in the first place it was never explained who benefited from the quasi-fiscal activities resulting in the $1,2 billion RBZ debt.
Harare West MP Jessie Majome said for ethical reasons, Kereke and any MP who benefited from the RBZ farm implements scheme should recuse themselves from debating on the issue or making decisions about passage of the Bill.
Meanwhile, Mudenda ruled that Kereke was legitimately in the House, and said former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa had mistakenly written to Parliament in September 2013 saying the Bikita West seat was vacant after the expulsion of Kereke from the party.