MDC Exposes Zanu PF Corruption

CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE
A NOW DAILY SPECIAL REPORT

The Movement for Democratic Change has moved a Parliamentary motion aimed at tackling rampant corruption in Zimbabwe. For a complete record of the corruption debates in the National Assembly, read NOW DAILY regularly: http://www.zimnowmedia.wordpress.com

Transcript:

MOTION
DETERIORATING STATE OF CORPORATE
GOVERNANCE IN ZIMBABWE
MR. MADZIMURE: I move the motion standing in my name that
this House:-
CONCERNED by the lack of implementation of the 2012
Government of Zimbabwe Corporate Governance Framework and
Guidelines.
SHOCKED by the deteriorating state of corporate governance in
Zimbabwe.
AWARE of the existence of ineffective anti-corruption laws and
weak Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
ALARMED by the lack of up-to-date audit trails in parastatals,
local authorities and the private sector.
NOW, THEREFORE, this House resolves that the relevant
Portfolio Committees capacitated and strengthened to carry out their
oversight function regarding good corporate governance in Zimbabwe.
FURTHER RESOLVES that the Government appoints the
Zimbabwe Ant-Corruption Commission as well as review and
harmonise all corruption related laws.
MR. CHIKWINYA: I second.
MR. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this
opportunity, which I think was overdue considering the situation that is
in our country today. Mr. Speaker, the motion before this House is of
great importance to this country. If this motion is debated well by hon.
members, I am sure it will deliver the people of Zimbabwe from certain
catastrophe. The scourge of corruption Mr. Speaker is a serious
challenge. Corruption is actually threatening humanity in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker if you look at the amount of aid that we get from outside.
Try and compare it with what we can call capital flight, the amount of
money that gets out of Zimbabwe. You will see that if we could retain
all the money that we, as Zimbabweans generate, we would not need aid.
This applies not only to Zimbabwe, but to quite a number of countries in
Africa. So, for us to be so indebted to other countries, outside and inside
Africa, is because of our poor governance of our own resources.
Mr. Speaker Sir, a country like Botswana actually lends the IMF
the money that we borrow comes from countries like Botswana. If other
countries can do so, why cannot Zimbabwe do the same? What has
contributed to this level of corruption in Zimbabwe is primarily the issue
of corporate governance. For the benefit of hon. members, corporate
governance is the system by which corporations are directed and
controlled whilst governance is a structure that specifies the distribution
of rights and responsibilities among participants in a corporation and
specifies the rules and procedures of making decisions in a corporate.
In Zimbabwe, we are fortunate in that during the Inclusive
Government, we came up with a corporate governance framework which
was approved by Cabinet and the President appended his signature to
that particular framework. During the President’s address to Parliament,
he mentioned the issue of a Bill coming to this House. I urge the
Executive to do that. Whilst we are waiting for that to happen, we
already have this governance framework which must be followed.
Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts
everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of
authority. What it means is that we are at the mercy of those people who
have got the authority. To make sure that we do not confuse this
particular motion, I am guided by certain principles as I debate this
particular motion. Zimbabwe belongs to us all. There is no one who is
more patriotic to Zimbabwe than the other.
Individuals are corrupt as individuals and cannot hide behind their
party or a faction. It is an individual who is corrupt and it is not the party
or faction – [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- As we debate this motion,
we must be able to separate individuals from the parties, individuals
from those factions. Huyayi tirove chidhoma pachacho kuti mai
vagobuda.
The failure to uphold the corporate governance framework adopted
by the Government cannot be blamed on the President. Looking at the
President and his age, when he says something, you do not expect him to
follow you up and see what you do on a daily basis. It is an individual
Minister who has been assigned the responsibility. I have heard him
often enough and if people were to do the right thing, we would have
started fighting corruption long back. He has said enough and it is up to
us to respond. The only way we can respond is to deal with specific
issues of corruption.
I encourage hon. members as they debate this motion to be
cognisant of the fact that they have a constitutional right to make the
Executive accountable. One of our responsibilities Mr. Speaker Sir, is
oversight. Oversight needs to be understood very well by hon. members.
We are not a lesser equal to the three Arms of Government which are the
Judiciary, Executive and Legislature. It is the responsibility of hon.
members to approve the budget and it is the responsibility of those
members to ensure that what they have approved in Parliament is put to
good use for the good governance of Zimbabwe.
Therefore, there should not be any limit as to how far Members of
Parliament would want people to be accountable for their actions. We
have had situations where it has become very difficult for Parliament to
carry out its duties. Last week, when the students at the Defence College
came here, I was also fortunate to see them in this particular building.
Their concern was that this issue of Salarygate, for it to get to the extent
at which it is right now, where were you as Members of Parliament. That
question is a serious question.
In other countries, effectively what it means is that, it will have
created a vacuum where someone is doing nothing yet the country is
suffering. In other countries, that can really lead to a coup d’etat where
people realise that you are useless and doing nothing. The Executive is
seated there and the Ministers appoint boards which do what they want
with the people’s resources. The management at parastatals do what they
want with the peoples funds. As Members of Parliament, we are seated
here and doing nothing about it.
When a Cabinet is appointed, it is a privilege for an individual
member to serve his country. The trust which the appointing authority
will have put on you is that, on his behalf you are supposed to serve the
country. You abandon that and you start serving your own pockets.
There are seven social sins that Mahatma Gandhi identified. These
are politics without principle; wealth without work; where people just
want to line their pockets and they do not want to work. Commerce
without morality – where people think that it is more important to simply
buy a car from Japan and put a markup of 100% ,without adding to this
economy. The other one is pleasure without conscience. This we know
what happens in offices where we ask ladies to serve us as individuals
before you award them something. This is a very bad practice because in
the process, you are also spreading diseases. Education without
character – only last week the President was referring to the issue of
corruption, when you have education without character, you are a loose
cannon. You use that particular education to do things that are
unbelievable where someone uses education to increase his or her salary
up to US$230 000 a month. A normal human being cannot do that.
Science without humanity and finally worship without sacrifice.
These are some of the social sins that have bedeviled Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am also inspired by the words of the great ZANLA
Commander, the late Josiah Magama Tongogara. When people were in
Mozambique, as you tuned into Radio Zimbabwe at around a quarter to
eight in the evening, you would hear his voice in a song. The song was
‘Kune nzira dzemasoja, dzekuzvibata nadzo. Teererai mitemo yose
nenzira dzakanaka. Musave munotora zvinhu zvemasi yenyu. Dzoserai
zvose – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – vaienderera mberi vachiti,
dzoserai zvose zvamunenge matora, taurai zvine tsika kuruzhinji
rwevanhu kuti masi inzwisise’. These were the words of Cde. Mawu.
The House rose and burst into singing the song – “Kune Nzira
Dzamasoja.”
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. members,
it is over. Let us listen to the words of wisdom. Let us hear the hon.
member in silence, please.
MR. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker Sir, there are some people
who are born with a vision. This is what one, Magama Tongogara had
gone through in his mind and realised that there is a danger that as we
move on, we will come across some of these things and it really needs
people who are focused; people who have got others at heart and who
can resist some of these things. Now, we are in a situation where we are
forced to seriously think about what exactly we would want to see, as
people of Zimbabwe.
During one of his interviews, Mr. Speaker Sir, and I like that clip,
unfortunately, the problem that we have is, we do not normally celebrate
a lot about some of the deeds of our fallen heroes. There is one
interview where he was asked about the reasons why he was fighting the
Smith-White regime. His response was very clear that he was not
fighting the colour but the system. Now, it is again the same systems
that are destroying the people of Zimbabwe. It is the system of
corruption, the system of patronage, the system of greediness that is now
killing Zimbabwe. If it could be explained to the people what this
particular song that we have just sung means; I tell you, it gives a good
lesson to the people of Zimbabwe.
Coming closer home, Mr. Speaker Sir, the President, as I have
said, has said it over and over again. His fear is that Zimbabwe as a
State is fast moving towards a state of kleptocracy where you find that
corruption is now endemic into our system. It becomes difficult for you
to say, this is a corrupt did and this is a proper way of doing business.
This is the danger. I just hope with this particular crusade, which I am
not very sure if it has started in earnest to fight corruption, that the
President will live to see the people of Zimbabwe benefiting equally
from their resources.
He promised that the programme of reforming parastatals has
started but he was also lamenting to the fact that it was at a very slow
pace. Now, I understand why the reform programme for parastatals is
this slow. It is because there are too many people benefiting from that
particular system. Before I forget, I would want to thank Hon. Prof.
Jonathan Moyo. I do not agree with him on a number of issues but on
this particular issue of corruption, I would want to salute him. He is the
only Cabinet Minister who has accepted the fact that corruption has
become our greatest enemy. He is also only one Minister who has
allowed action to be taken on one of his boards, which is the ZBC
Board. He is also the Minister who has dismissed the reinstated Chief
Executive of the ZBC.
During his tenure, he disapproved the position. If you follow the
history, Prof. Moyo did not approve the elevation of Muchechetere. He
did not approve. If my memory serves me right, action was taken and
what happened was that the moment he lost his seat and left
Government, a new Minister came in and Happison Muchechetere was
back. I now do not wonder why he was back because what we are now
seeing Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we now have conduits of corruption.
Some of these guys are conduits of corruption. There are reports that the
ZBC bought eight VX8 and only six could be accounted for. Who took
the other two?
The ZBC bought big generators and I remember trying to raise a
question and it was said not to be a policy question. When the actual
distribution of those generators was being undertaken, someone
benefited. Some people benefited big generators, not small ones. They
were big such that you would require a crane to lift them.
Mr. Speaker, we have had situations where houses have been
bought for some people by these parastatals. If you still remember Mr.
Speaker, you were in this House, when it happened some time back,
when ZUPCO issued a car to a Minister, a KB ISUZU and I asked the
question in this House whether that was right. I could see that the
moment we do not stick to procedures in our institutions, if I am a
Minister and fortunately I have got about 10 parastatals that fall under
my ministry, will I then go to each and every one getting something
from them?
Mr. Speaker that is why I talked about corporate governance and
what it means. Now we have a situation where because of the golden
handcuffs that a Minister or a board Chairman will have been
handcuffed with by the management in parastatals, you become a
captive. You are now a prisoner of a board that you created and they
start even asking you to authorize salary increases, even by-passing the
authority that should do so. I was here when the Committee on Local
Government was questioning the Town Clerk here. He was at pains to
say who authorized his salaries; he was at pains, he could not, to the
extent that he wanted the House to believe that a consultant can
determine a salary or auditors. But it is the arrogance of some of these
state institution leaders that now worries me. I have said the President
has said enough and what do we expect the President to do when you get
to a level of determining your own salaries, should he be there to say, I
want to see? And who is the gate keeper? It must be the Minister.
So, Mr. Speaker, this is the problem that we have in this country.
Let me deal with the issue of perception of Zimbabwe as the third most
corrupt country in Africa, as it is being said and also why Zimbabwe is
number 157 according to the 2012 survey? Why 157 out of the 173
countries that the survey was conducted.
Mr. Speaker, perception rules, whether you want to run away from
it but it is perception that rules. It is that perception that is now making
it difficult for Zimbabwe to attract foreign direct investment. I have said
we can do without foreign direct investment, only if we can account of
our resources that we have, we can do without aid as far as Zimbabwe is
concerned. We cannot print money right now but we have managed to
survive, just imagine if we were accounting for our diamonds, if we
were accounting for our gold, if we were accounting for our platinum,
where would Zimbabwe be today, Mr. Speaker? We would be one of the
best performing countries in the world.
Mr. Speaker, the issue of perception arises from the fact that you
read a Zimbabwean newspaper today, Herald, Newsday, Daily News or
Zimbabwe Mail, the headline is about corruption and we all agree that it
is true – [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – So when people rate us, we
then say no it is your perception you are against Zimbabwe and those
people who make a lot of noise are the most corrupt people Mr.
Speaker– [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –They are sometimes very
high levels that must just keep quiet and maybe try then to do damage
control when it is said by lower levels but we cannot start from the top.
The President has always said this when he was addressing the last
Conference that was held in Chinhoyi, it was the same story, when it
was in Gweru, it was the same story – [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
So who are we then to say there is no corruption, to say there is no
corruption in Zimbabwe, I believe the President is always well informed
and whenever he opens his mouth, he would have seriously considered
whatever he will be going to say. He is one of those people whom you
can say probably he had taken some whisky or some wine, he does not
drunk, and he is always sober. When he says something and if you want
to pursue it you will get to the root of the problem. But alas Mr.
Speaker, what do we do when he says that people will say aah!
wamunzwa mudhara, aah! ndozvinongotaura mudhara mazuva ano.
Mr. Speaker, we have got a number of issues, it is terrible hon.
members. Harare Airport road, we entered into a contract in 2008, and
the reason was we wanted that road to be used during the 2010 World
Cup and now we are in 2014. Another World cup is now coming up,
actually next month and we have not yet finished, it is about 14km and
that same 14 km cost Zimbabwe US$17 million and then you say, using
my own layman’s costing, less than 14km cost Zimbabwe 80 million, so
it cost one something million dollars to do a kilometer. So it cost how
much per kilometer. There is one road in Ngezi that costed US$19
million. Mr. Speaker what was there for someone who signed this
contract? Why would one sacrifice Zimbabwe on the altar like that?
Mr. Speaker we are all full aware, everybody uses the airport road
with all the confusion caused by the construction that is endless and we
all turn a blind eye. Mr. Speaker, further to that, we have got a fresh
one, the issue of water reticulation at Morton Jaffrey, which cost us
US$144 million. Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you this SciMark Company
from China, if investigations are carried out it will come out that
someone got 10% of that amount. These days it is very easy because
there is the United Nations conventions against corruption, if anyone
doubt and we as Zimbabweans are serious and we say we want to carry
out these investigations because of this Convention that we ratified here
and it is now law. If we want assistance to recover that money, we will
get the assistance because the actual cost of that particular project cannot
be anywhere near US$70 million, but we paid US$144 million. The
negotiations were also clouded in secrecy and the people of Harare, as
the major stakeholders, never approved the City of Harare to borrow
US$144 million. The excuse that the officers will tell you is that we are
not going to get the actual cash because it is the China Exim Bank that is
going to pay, but the fact still remains the same. Zimbabweans will have
to pay for that US$144 million.
Mr. Speaker, we have got several cases at the City Council level.
On 29th January, the Mayor decided, like what Hon. Moyo did with
ZBC, to say to the Chief Executive Officer, can you go on leave so that
we can investigate, but as soon as the Minister landed in Harare, he sent
someone in the middle of the night to the Mayor’s residence. He wrote a
letter to the Mayor for him to rescind his decision to send the Town
Clerk on leave. Because the Mayor would not enjoy being fired, he
obliged and wrote a letter reinstating the Town Clerk. The Minister
cited a section in the Act that deals with public interest and some of the
people in Harare went on hunger strike demonstrating against that
decision. So, why would the Minister risk his reputation by returning
someone who had been asked to stand aside for a while whilst
investigations were being carried out?
The Mayor’s crime is that he had asked the Town Clerk to give
him the payroll schedule. The council is said to be the final authority as
far as what is going on in the City of Harare is concerned, and the Mayor
is the head. So he said I just want to know what we give you and your
colleagues and up to today the Mayor does not have the information. If
everything is being done above board, what would be the reason of
anyone refusing to do so?
My colleagues, hon. members, here will help in this debate by
furnishing you with a number of specific issues to do with the issues of
corruption. Mr. Speaker, if we do not act today on this issue of
corruption, we have a problem. I would have wanted this House to put
in place a committee to deal with certain specific issues to address the
issue of corruption, but again, I was advised that Parliament would be
overstepping its mandate. I think I have said this to you, Mr. Speaker,
that unless Parliament starts doing something we are creating a vacuum
that will be filled by other people and it is not the best.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, talking about corporate governance, we have
a person like Cuthbert Dube, who sits on 20 boards and on top of that as
Chief Executive Officer, who is supposed to be in his office almost on a
daily basis. Then we ask; is Zimbabwe short of people? In South Africa
they have a data bank of people who are suitable to be appointed as
board members. Again Mr. Speaker, I want hon. Ministers to be fair to
the President. When the President asks for members to be appointed to a
body, he expects a Minister to be honest to him and give him the best
people for the appointment as board members. We then ask why this is
happening. The majority of the people are being used as conduits.
There is also the issue of nepotism. You ask who Pfumbidzai from
Air Zimbabwe is. She is mwana watete vanhingi. If you ask who
Obvious Bvute is, he is the chair of that organisation and he was put
there by so and so, and so and so took him to that board, and this one
also gave him another board. There are these names that we hear every
day, with all their problems. I am not accusing the individuals, but I am
saying who is appointing one person to five or six boards? Why? Do
we have a shortage of people in Zimbabwe? We claim to have a 95%
literacy rate, which is almost the best in Africa, but we continuously
recycle the same people, Mr. Speaker. Why are we doing so? It is
patriotism. It is a privilege of a few individuals.
Mr. Speaker, finally I want this House to make sure that our role of
oversight is respected. The Constitution provides for that. We implore
the Government to show us the results of their actions. Corruption
started long back. I also want to mention Hon. Dr. Obert Mpofu; how
the Willowgate scandal was brought to light was when Hon. Dr. Mpofu
was still a businessman. He received a cheque as a rebate and when he
opened it, he saw a huge sum of money. He wondered what it was for.
It was only during the enquiry that he realised that it was intended for
another Mpofu who had very good connections up there and the rebate
was from CAZ. Hon. Dr. Mpofu had not bought or traded in those
Cressidas. That is how the issue of the Willowgate Scandal came to
light and immediately the President appointed the Sandura Commission.
If this could be done Mr. Speaker, we still have credible judges. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
I look at judges like Paddington Garwe; I really respect that family
because it was from that family where the only minister resigned. The
reason why he resigned was a very simple one because Minister Garwe’s
child had had access to a Grade 7 examination paper for that matter and
not a degree. He said, no, no, I am the Minister of Education and I
cannot accept this. He resigned. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
Even the judge, one of the most high profile cases that he dealt with, he
managed to stick out his neck and gave a judgment.
I feel so sorry for the late Hon. Nyagumbo who took his life after
the Willowgate scandal. Imagine, people were saying, aah and we are
saying he died for a Cressida which is now a taxi yet others are
smuggling tonnes of gold from Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker, I really feel
touched when I talk about these issues of corruption.
Since the Willowgate scandal, what came next was the Paweni
Grain scandal and not only that, we have had several cases of corruption
yet nothing has happened. We had the ZISCO Steel Blast Furnace
scandal, the Air Zimbabwe the Fokker plane scandal of $100million and
during that time a $100 000.00 was a lot of money. Even today, it is a
lot of money because this 10% that people receive, if you were to take
10% of $100million, it can run all the clinics in the Midlands for a year
supplying medicine.
We had the ZRP Santana scandal, do we have any casualties? No;
the War Victims Compensation scandal and this one really pains me
because I have war veterans today who are really disabled but could get
only 15 – 20%. When able bodied war veterans got 95%, you are dead if
you get that including the ones who are still harvesting today. We had
the GMB scandal; the VIP Housing scandal; the Boka bank scandal; the
ZESA YTL scandal. The ZESA YTL scandal died a natural death and
to date, I think we have many dockets, they still have not been solved;
the Harare City Refuse Tender scandal; the housing loan scandal; the
NOCZIM scandal; the Ministry of Water and Rural Development
Chinese Tender scandal; the VIP land grab scandal and the Harare
Airport scandal. The list is endless.
So, Mr. Speaker, I think as Members of Parliament we must assert
ourselves, declare that we will fight corruption and make sure that those
that should give back what belongs to the people of Zimbabwe do so.
Lastly Mr. Speaker, the issue of tax. Those people who earn those
monies must be tax audited and they must pay their taxes. Thank you,
Mr. Speaker.
MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to add my
voice in this debate by Hon. Madzimure as set forth on our Order Paper.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just spoken before me
raised quite pertinent points in as far as corruption amidst our society is
concerned. First and foremost, what I managed to know is that
Zimbabwe is ranked 157 out of 176 countries on the Transparency
International Zimbabwe Perception index. As I went through this, what
was saddening to note is that, the more corrupt countries ahead of us are
Tajikistan, Myanmar and Burundi. What you then notice into these
nations is that they are run by warlords, they are failed States, collapsed
economies run by individuals who have usurped State power and
therefore, there is no formal structure of governance.
So, for Zimbabwe to come fourth – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
hear]- it also tells a sad story that, we are in a failed State. This is a
question that goes to the Executive that: is this the picture which we
want to write to the whole world that we are in the same bracket with
Myanmar?
Mr. Speaker, the major drivers to the corruption perception index
and these are the most corrupt institutions are notably the police, first
and foremost. It is on record that between Harare and Bulawayo, you
are lucky if you are going to come across roadblocks of a number less
than 18. 18 roadblocks between Harare and Bulawayo, are we a police
State? What is the proper intention of these roadblocks? So, the police
have become the chief agents of corruption in our country – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
The second best are sadly politicians. The hon. member who
spoke before me defined corruption as, an abuse of authority which
would have been bestowed upon one or an institution. Politicians
having been bestowed power to rule for the good governance of men
have abused the very same status for their own good. The list is endless
on politicians and just behind politicians are individuals who hide under
the armpits of politicians. I hope politicians are not going to walk out as
I speak of corruption Mr. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): On a point
of order Mr. Speaker. It is most unparliamentary to insinuate that my
right to go out of the Chamber should be governed by the speech of the
hon. member discussing whatever topic he is discussing.
I have a democratic right to be in the Chamber and a democratic
right to leave the Chamber.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Point of order sustained, would
the hon. member please withdraw that statement?
MR. CHIKWINYA: Mr. Speaker, at your request, I withdraw.
Mr. Speaker, sadly on the list of corrupt institutions are public
officials and these are notably our executives within our parastatals and
civil servants. Fourthly, Mr. Speaker, the Judiciary. Zimbabwe,
according to the Transparency and International of Zimbabwe Report of
2013, has been said to be losing $55 million a day, calculated from the
day we went into multi-currency regime. We have lost $10 billion for
the past five years due to corruption and the money that has not been
remitted to the State.
Mr. Speaker, our public tender process is in shame. One of the
bodies and I want to believe that Parliament has got the powers to
interrogate its proceedings and how it is conducting its work as the State
Procurement Board. This is a board where corruption is manifesting
itself, hatching its eggs and multiplying as the people see day in day out.
Our Public Tender process is in shame and it is actually the hive of
corrupt activities as we speak.
Secondly Mr. Speaker, the Government of Zimbabwe has launched
the economic Blue Print of ZIM ASSET. ZIM ASSET, in its endeavour,
requires a US$27 billion injection of direct investment, foreign and
local. This will not come about if we do not respect our own rules of
good corporate governance. At the anchor of the success of ZIM
ASSET, State institutions like parastatals, the state can only look at its
own investment vehicles which are parastatals for it to have a success in
its own economic Blue Print.
The economy of China anchors its success on parastatals.
Parastatals in China have gone outside the borders of China to invest in
other countries, Zimbabwe included. Sino-Steel Zimbabwe, the biggest
chrome manufacturer in Zimbabwe is a parastatal based in China. What
it does is to amass chrome in Zimbabwe for the benefit of the Chinese in
China, but, because of their good corporate governance, it is a successful
business which records profits. This business that parastatals must not
record profit because they are supporting the public, and therefore can
be cushioned by the public and the Government, must be a thing of the
past.
We were of the thinking that parastatals are subsidising the public
when actually, the chief executives were taking the profits and
benefiting, lining their pockets. Since we have now looked East Mr.
Speaker, the Chinese, if I can take them into cognisance, have put capital
punishment to corruption. If you are found being corrupt and working
for a parastatal in China, you face capital punishment because you are
not only killing the organisation which you are working for. You are
killing the State and the State is the public.
Look at Cuthbert Dube, the fact that Public Service Medical
Institution could not pay for its clients, people could not access drugs a
person on renal care, a person on tuberculosis died because they could
not access care when Cuthbert Dube was taking his concubines to
Malaysia. Mr. Speaker, this institution called Parliament, over the years
has been systematically weakened despite all the statutes, which are
within our libraries and within our bankers to say first and foremost,
when the Parliamentary Immunity and Privileges Act gives enormous
power to make oversight to the Executive, this institution has been
weakened by individuals presiding over the administration of
Parliament. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker, the mover of this motion, Hon. Madzimure and I, the
seconder, had to travel so many times between the office of the Clerk of
Parliament and the office of the Speaker, for us to seek that this motion
be tabled before Parliament. The answer which we were getting is that,
you are putting the cart before the horse. This is a prerogative of the
Executive. Therefore, Parliament cannot discuss about it. It was at the
intervention of the Speaker, Hon. Mudenda that Parliament must have
the right to discuss about it but the Clerk of Parliament was refusing. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
He watered down this motion because one of the tenets of this
motion was, let the parliamentary committee on Parastatals and State
Enterprises be mandated to carry out a wholesome exercise because
every State Enterprise and Parastatal, falls under their mandate. They
must provide oversight over that, but the Clerk of Parliament refused.
We wonder what he has to hide. This Parliament must demand to know
how much the Clerk of Parliament earns. Members of Parliament travel
in the economy class when they are going out on parliamentary trips.
The Clerk of Parliament travels in Business Class, why? –[HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
We need to know because we are a family. We are judged as
politicians because we have the alter-ego of representing the people of
Zimbabwe, not the administration of Parliament-[HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections]- Mr. Speaker, it is only in the Parliament of
Zimbabwe, as compared to the Parliaments around this region where, we
have parliamentarians without researchers. My office, as compared to
my colleague in South Africa, must be having ten researchers. I must
have the duty to be able to provide political policy matters when I am
meeting the constituents.
I am a politician born out of the respect of how I interact with the
people. But, the intellectual and technical capacity is born out of
technical research. I must be supported so that we do not come here and
give streetwise debates. Where we are faced with issues of corruption,
we should be talking statistics and figures supported by our research
committees. Parliaments’ world over, the least in the Americas, that is
Brazil, Chile and Venezuela to mention just a few, a Member of
Parliament has got ten researchers depending on the institution or the
Cabinet Ministries as they are clustered. This means each cluster of
Government; I must have the research person in my office in Mbizo who
is currently collecting data so that when I come here, I make
presentations which are informed and technical for the benefit of the
Executive. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker, it is sad to note that as a Parliament, we have been
weakened and we have not been able to play our oversight role because
some, even workshops where NGOs that commit to work with
Parliament to make us more informed, have been denied the access to
the parliamentary committees by the Clerk of Parliament and that upsets
me a lot.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. member. We
should not discuss the officers because they are not here to defend
themselves. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Hon.
members to my left, please we need to hear the hon. member in silence.
MS. ZINDI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. You have just
remarked that when members are debating, they should not talk about
officers or the administration of Parliament. I think your response is
inadequate for us hon. members to understand exactly how then, are we
expected to address such issues where we observe that there are some
inadequacies, or in as far as the management and the expectations of
Members of Parliament is not being handled adequately? How then are
we expected to put this across so that it has to be addressed? I think your
response is inadequate Mr. Speaker. I thank you.
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, in terms of our Constitution, the
Speaker is the head of the Parliamentary institution. Therefore, he
cannot respond, particularly when you debate about the staff of
Parliament.
MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I will just give the
role of Parliament as my recommendation, as far as Parliament is
concerned. It is my proposal Mr. Speaker that when appointing Board
Members, as precedents set out in other countries, America for example.
That Board Members of parastatals must be approved by a Committee of
Parliament that superintends that particular Ministry –[HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- If we are going to have a ZBC Board to be
appointed, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Publicity
and Broadcasting Services, must approve the Board Members. They
must at least have a say before the President actually makes the final
say. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Wataura zvihombe mwana] – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]—[Laughter]-
Mr. Speaker, I wish one day that our Committees’ reports that are
tabled before Parliament can be respected. In 2011, the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee responsible for Media then, tabled a report with
specific recommendations in as far as ZBC was concerned. One of the
recommendations was that there were serious disparities between ZBC
Management and their workers in as far as salaries were concerned.
This we picked up in both ZBC and even the State Media which was
Chronicle and Herald. The recommendation was neither given any ear
by the Minister nor the Board. In the very same year, it is now public
information that Mr. Charamba, who was actually a Board Member by
virtue of his position as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media,
Information and Publicity and also he is the President’s spokes person
advised the Minister to act on ZBC but the Minister gave a deaf ear.
So, it does not then surprise us when Hon. Madzimure stands here
and says, Hon. Shamu must answer. Where did he get the VX8, a black
one which he was given by Happison Muchechetere. Who paid for it, he
must answer – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Hon. Shamu, is a
Member of Parliament. First and foremost, he has all the right to come
here and debate, since he is a Minister to come and debate and speak for
himself. I respect him and therefore, he must be respected by everyone.
We must not say things out of perception but we end up saying this
because Ministers do not come for question and answer sessions. If he
was going to come we were going to ask him this very honourable
question where did he get the VX8 a black one, supplied by Happison
Muchechetere – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker Sir, there is an institution which collects our money.
This institution is called ZIMRA, it is headed by one Gershem Pasi. I
want to give the hon. gentleman the right to answer. Therefore, I
implore members who sit in the Committee that superintends over this
Board called ZIMRA, how does Gershem Pasi earn US$310 000 a
month? Mr. Speaker, I am saying this because in the absence of a
Parliamentary Committee that speaks to the facts and truth, we are all
going to be dealing with perceptions. We need Parliamentary
Committees mandated by this Parliament to go and dig into each and
every parastatal –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker, in terms of the local authorities, Hon. Madzimure,
who spoke before me talked quite wide about the goings on at Harare
City Council. There is a question on the Order Paper, Mr. Speaker,
which requires the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing to avail the salary schedules for six major cities in
Zimbabwe. Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe and Gweru.
The Minister has been ducking and diving over this question, but just to
give the Minister a hindsight, the Chief Executive Officer of Gaborone,
in Botswana earns 230 000 pula a year, which makes it 2 700 a month,
yet his counterpart in Harare earns US$37 000 per month. How does
this happen? The people of Zimbabwe, if we look at the socio-economic
problems between Botswana and Zimbabwe, we are far away worse than
them. We have more garbage in our streets than Gaborone; we have
more litter in our streets than Gaborone, but how does the Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) earn 10 times his counterpart in the same
region? We have been lamenting as Members of Parliament that our
salaries are not even comparable to Members of Parliament of
Botswana, they are far better than us, so how does the CEO in
Zimbabwe earn better than the one in Botswana – [HON. MEMBERS;
Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker, recently, the University of Zimbabwe announced that
tuition for students were supposed to go up by 10%, with medical
students going up by 13 to 15%. The students are demanding Mr.
Speaker, how do we convince our parents to fork out extra money, when
we do not yet know the salary structure of the Executive of
Administration. It is our duty as Members of Parliament, some of you
are students; some of you are parents to assist this institution. What
does the Dean of Faculty earn; what does the pro-Vice Chancellor earn,
these students are simply riding on the principle of accountability and
transparency and need to know that when their parents pay an extra
dollar it is not going towards salaries but going towards their
improvement of the faculties, administration or the improvement of the
educational institution -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- this
left students with no choice but to demonstrate for them to get this salary
schedule.
Mr. Speaker, the President and Head of State of our country, spoke
quite well about corruption. I heard him speak about the Masimirembwa
case, and I said now Mr. President you are speaking. When the
President of the State speaks, he speaks with authority. Everyone
respects him because he will be speaking with authority. He spoke so
eloquently and I said Masimirembwa will not last even a day. It has
quite saddened me Mr. Speaker, that up to now, the President has even
had to make a u-turn. I am not surprised that the President made a uturn
because currently to his right is a Vice President, who is on record
as having condemned the media for actually bringing to the fore issues
of corruption. Therefore, the President was ill-advised.
To his left is his spokesperson who is actually embroiled in serious
Salary-gate issues, where at one point was getting US$100 000 a month.
To which extent he even offered to be fired. Why should you want to
offer to be fired when you know that something you have done is
wrong? Where are your moral ethics, where is moral standing, you
should simply resign. Why should you burden the people who have
appointed you to say if you feel that I am wrong, then I can resign?
Therefore you are putting the blame squarely on the person who
appointed you, and unfortunately in this case it is our Head of State.
“That Mr. President, you are the one who appointed me, I have looted
US$100 000, therefore fire me. It is unfair, very unfair to the President,
fire yourself. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
Mr. Speaker, politicians as we are, one of the biggest achievements
which we have in our lives as politicians in this very dirty life; in this
very burdening life which we have chosen is that we must leave a
legacy. I must leave a legacy. I must leave a legacy in Mbizo. The
President leaves a legacy throughout the whole country. What legacy is
our Vice President who is actually the Acting President today, going to
leave when she wants to gag the media that they must not speak of
corruption? What legacy is she going to leave when the grand children
of this country are going to hear that at one point, the very honourable
lady said the media must not speak against corruption?
We are politicians by nature and we are going to be judged by
what we say on a daily basis. I want to invite the Vice President that she
is a Member of Parliament of Mt Darwin and she has got the right to
come here. I respect her so much and I think she was misquoted. She
must come here and say, ‘hon. members I was misquoted, I am against
corruption.’ Failure to do that, the ghost of 12 January 2009, will forever
haunt her when the media, specifically The Daily Telegraph of the
United Kingdom and SW Radio were awash with the news that 3.7m
tonnes were being smuggled out of Zimbabwe by her in person. She
must come here and defend.
Within our Constitution, there is a body called Zimbabwe Anti
Corruption Commission. Today we woke up to news in the media that
members of the Anti Corruption Commission…
MR. SPEAKER: Order. I did not hear what was said but I
followed some parts of the mover of the motion concerning the crafting
of the motion wherein the Clerk of Parliament was believed to have
watered down the motion.
Secondly, the issue raised by Hon. Zindi about where do we
complain to if we are not happy about the performance of the
Administration. I want to put the issues straight. If I may go to the
mover. The mover made a proposal of the motion which was looked at
by the Clerk and his senior administrators and it was brought to my
attention with certain reservations. I looked at the motion as it was in its
state.
I called in Hon. Madzimure and indicated to him the constitutional
constraints that were in that motion if it were to be brought before this
august House. I explained in detail the implication thereof and assisted
Hon. Madzimure which I am not supposed to do, to recraft that motion
so that it has some extensive, comprehensive, more focused appeal when
brought before this august House.
The hon. member appeared to me satisfied and that he would
proceed and panel beat that motion. I said well and good, bring it up
because it is a very important motion because it is part of strengthening
the oversight role of Members of Parliament. Precisely, that motion was
calling upon the question of implementation of the corporate governance
framework and guidelines which had been produced by Hon. G. Moyo
during the Inclusive Government and was accepted by Cabinet. We
discussed that with the hon. member. I said you start from there.
The deterioration of corporate governance, again we looked at that.
The issue of ineffective anti corruption laws, we looked at that to the
extent where I advised the hon. member to say Tanzania for example, at
Independence in 1962, through the leadership of Mwalimu Julius
Nyerere, had come up with an anti corruption law to distinguish it from
fraud and other criminal elements. That I discussed and therefore as it
comes in this form, this was an agreed position because I felt we needed
that law which defined what corruption was and the consequences
thereof, if one breached that law.
The issue of parastatals and local authorities was well crafted by
Hon. Madzimure. There was nothing there to correct. The question of
getting relevant Portfolio Committees to be capacitated and strengthened
to carry out their oversight role regarding good corporate governance in
Zimbabwe, I said that will pass and then the resolution.
Therefore, it is not correct to say the Clerk of Parliament watered
down the original motion. That is not correct. In any case, the final
authority in terms of motions and other administrative issues rests with
the Speaker in terms of Section 135 of the Constitution; further, in terms
of Section 151 and Committee on Standing Rules.
I am surprised that Hon. Zindi asks: where do we take our
complaints when we are not happy with the Administration of
Parliament when led by the Clerk of Parliament? I urged you hon.
members to read your Standing Orders. They are very clear. They deal
with administration of Parliament to boost the Constitutional provisions.
Therefore, if there are issues where members are not happy with the
administration of Parliament as led by the Clerk, on a day to day basis,
and overall at policy level it is the responsibility of the Speaker and
Madam President of the Senate. It is there in black and white.
Up to now, no formal request to bring out whatever misgivings
about the Clerk and his administration, has been brought to the attention
of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee. There is none. So, it is
unfair to bring such condemnation in this House when procedures have
not been followed in terms of the Constitution before you and the
Standing Orders. Read them, read the Constitution and then, you will be
able to act accordingly.
I say this because some of you hon. members attack the Clerk who
has no right of reply except through the Speaker, which I am doing now.
I am appealing to members to read the Standing Orders and to read the
Constitution thoroughly. Please, do not peruse it, read it thoroughly.
Then to what my dear friend, Hon. Chikwinya was beginning to
scratch on, we have immunities. Yes, but do not be tempted to
characterise people who are not in the House, including the Office of the
Vice President; especially when it is based on what was written, hear
say. If we are dealing with a statement that was read out in black and
white, so be it. It can be criticised but let us not rely on hear say. It is
not proper. This is an august House that thrives on privileges and
immunities but these should not be overstretched to character assassinate
other people who are not in the House to reply accordingly.
I thought, I should make that straight. I thank you. Hon. member,
you may continue.
MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was moving
on to the Anti-Corruption Commission. Today, we woke up greeted by
media headlines that the Anti-Corruption Commission is paying itself
salaries outside its contract. Without necessarily delving into the merits
and demerits of that story, what I am about to contribute on the Anti-
Corruption Commission is that it is not supported by Statutes or by
provisions of the law that gives power for it to deal with the corruption
scourge before us.
The Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr. Speaker Sir, must have
arresting powers. The Anti-Corruption Commission, in the manner in
which it dealt with the case in which Hon. Kasukuwere and Hon. Dr.
Obert Mpofu in 2013, was that as it went and interrogated them, the
Anti-Corruption Commission members, themselves were arrested.
Therefore, who will then guard the guard? It now simply means that
whereas the Anti-Corruption Commission, a Constitutional Board has
been set out to go and eradicate corruption, it is then finding itself
having impediments through politicians who are more powerful than the
Constitutional Board.
Therefore, I am appealing to this House to come up with relevant
statutes in the form of legislature; legislative interventions which gives
the Anti-Corruption Commission enough powers for it to execute its
mandate in a manner which can eradicate corruption amongst us.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to give respect to both private and
public media. The manner in which they have collectively handled
corruption cases is one thing which we would want to celebrate. It is my
belief that behaviour rewarded is behaviour repeated. The media has
played very important role in unearthing the entire scandals world over.
The scandals which have been laid here by Hon. Madzimure from 1987,
being the ZISCO Steel scandal, the Air Zimbabwe scandal and
everywhere. They are coming out through the media. I beg Parliament
to support the role being played by the fourth estate.
Since Parliament is an institution where we have politicians, I urge
that we refrain from using our political muscle to shut off the media; that
we refrain from using our political position to gag the media and that
instead; we should support this role because we ourselves, we are the
ones who are appointing these board members who are now pilfering
from the State coffers. How then are we supposed to expose the same?
It takes one or two individual politicians and they have been mentioned
here, the likes of Prof. Moyo who has unleashed the institutional powers
within him that these scandals be exposed. Therefore, we would want to
expose them.
Of late, Mr. Speaker Sir, is the story by one Paidamoyo Mazulu on
the Air Zimbabwe scandal. I would want to give respect to the Hon.
Minister who came before Parliament yesterday and said, yes, I hear you
Parliamentarians, after having been asked subsequent questions
emanating from that story which came out of the News Day that we are
making a report and we are going to give a public statement to the same.
The fact that it has come out as an investigative article in a newspaper,
making the public to be aware of such issues involving corrupt
individuals, involving shoddy deals, that to me is a thing we should
celebrate amongst our media.
The story by Moses Matenga, that of the relationship between
Chombo and Mahachi, where Mahachi was alleged to be a conduit of
Chombo; again without giving credence to say Chombo is guilty or not,
but the fact that there are investigations going on and that the matter is
going on, I think we need to give credence to the media within that
regard. The same goes to the Herald in the manner it carried the ZBC
Board story; I think we need to thank the members of the fourth estate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I was saying earlier on, that we risk as the
Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe, going down in history as having failed
to answer one question. When everything was happening, where were
you as Parliament? At the end of the day people in our constituencies
queue for four to five hours attempting to vote because they have given
us all the powers to make decisions on their behalf. Therefore, any
problem, be it water, be it corruption or anything, they look upon us for
solutions. We must be given the opportunity to provide the same
solutions. We must be given the platform within which I support the
mover of the motion to say, let there be a Parliamentary Committee to
investigate, especially with regard to State enterprises and parastatals.
What is the salary scale within all the executives and we must get, not
hear say but proper findings and then act accordingly. I would therefore,
move Mr. Speaker …
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chikwinya, your time is up
but because the Speaker has stole part of your time, I indulge you with a
further five minutes so that you are able to wind up your debate.
MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was saying
that, with all due respect to our constituencies, we need to answer the
fact that where were you as elected people with the alter ego of
representing your constituencies when all this rot was happening in
Government. I seek a platform through the Committee of Parliament
that these committees be given the mandate to go and investigate,
without interference, what is happening in these parastatals on behalf of
the people. Whilst we might have limited powers with private
institutions, but where we can have powers, let us be given the
opportunity to investigate and make our findings public for us to give
confidence to the investors. For us to be able to support collectively the
ZIM ASSET, for us to be able to realise the 27 billion injection so far
required in terms of direct investment. Thank you.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, for affording me
this opportunity to make my contribution on this motion. I support Hon.
Madzimure for introducing this debate. I do not want to debate at
length; I just want to be brief. This is a painful issue and no living
individual or Member of Parliament worth his salt would support the
continuation of corruption, especially regarding the war veterans. It
pains us a lot that as war veterans, we are living a pauper’s life. We
cannot take our children to school and cannot even afford to buy a coffin
for our fellow war liberator and yet on the other hand, we have people
who are earning US$300 000 per month. It also pains to find that there
are some people, bourgeois buying 20 to 30 houses as individuals and
yet they are basking in the glory of the sacrifices of the war liberators
who were prepared to liberate this country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you will pardon me for the language I am using.
Yes, we know this could be hear-say, but let me say it. I am very much
pained because I received a phone call from a private caller who was
asking me if I wanted money. He said, if you want money please defend
the issue of corruption so that it is not debated in Parliament –[HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –I took this private caller’s message to the
police to make an inquiry so they could contact the centre of this
message, but they said the identity had been hidden. Even the service
provider also said they could not assist me because it was not a contract
call. So they could not trace the caller.
My conclusion was that, it is amongst us Members of Parliament,
even the person who is appointed by His Excellency is a Member of
Parliament. So from my observation, Members of Parliament are
corrupt. Right now, I agree with the caller that some of you were bribed
by this caller so that you may not make contributions on this debate on
corruption. You were given US$500 against US$30 million. US$500
was a bribe to make you quiet and avoid this debate on corruption.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I agree with my colleagues. Corruption does not
operate on partisan lines. We know His Excellency, Comrade President
also spoke against corruption and therefore, ZANU PF does not want it
and no party wants it either. Corruption is an individual state of affair,
Mr. Speaker Sir. What we want is that, if somebody is convicted of
corruption, that person should be convicted accordingly and punished. If
corruption has been discovered, let us not go on rumour mongering.
Talking of these board members, if you look at how these
Ministers appoint board members; if I am a Minister who comes from a
certain constituency such as Buhera, you will find that the board
members will also come from my constituency or my home area –[HON
MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –I am not only talking of present Ministers but
this has been the trend since independence, even during the Inclusive
Government. You will find that Ministers would appoint board members
from people of their relations or constituency. We should condemn
corruption and put it to the dustbin where it belongs.
The day before yesterday (Tuesday), I contributed on Petro Trade
which is from Mobile, a fuel company. It was changed its name because
it used to be called Mobile, but it simply changed to Petro Trade. When
we look at this institution, the managers who were in Mobile are the
same who are in Petro Trade and the monies are still being siphoned out.
If we look at ZUPCO Transport Company, we find that every year
C.E.O’s are changed and no cases are tried. When the C.E.O is removed
from office, he is given the package of a vehicle and a golden
handshake. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
Mr. Speaker Sir, may you please protect me because I did not
mention anybody by name. When we look at cases of war veterans, we
have no houses. People who did not go to war or who did not make any
contribution in the war of liberation are the people who are siphoning
the wealth of Zimbabwe yet we are suffering. The likes of Chinotimba
are quiet. I do not even own a wheelbarrow and somebody is stupid
enough to come to Hon. Chinotimba and offer a bribe of US$500, trying
to silence Chinotimba not to speak against corruption. – [HON.
MEMBERS: inaudible interjections] –
*MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. member. I know when you are
debating this motion, you become very emotional, but may you please
be selective on the words you use, including words like the obscene term
‘shit’, it is an obscene word, please abstain from such words. As the
Speaker of this House, may you please withdraw the word ‘shit’ which
you used.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I withdraw
the word ‘shit’, but I did not insult anybody.
*MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, when the
Speaker has made a ruling, please do not contest it. So, all we are
asking you is to withdraw the four letter word you used. No additions
please.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: I withdraw the four letter word I have
used against the corrupt people. Mr. Speaker Sir, I agree with my
colleagues when I say that as Members of Parliament, we are not the
first to be in this House and we know that when we have called for an
investigation in this House, that investigation should be implemented.
From my own point of view, we need to elect a new committee
which will make a review of the issues of corruption in parastatals
because we find that as we are talking, we are dilly dallying and these
parastatals are taking measures to cover up the tracks of this corruption.
Therefore, we need to be swift on this.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we were elected by the people to be their
representatives in this august House. We are people who are supposed
to bring development to these people and if you are not telling the
people developmental issues, which they called us to represent them in,
they will look at it and think we are birds of the same feather because we
are afraid of criticising each other. As a result, we find that because of
the greediness in human beings, we have gluttons who are eating even
the shares we are supposed to be dividing equally amongst the people of
Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I become very emotional when it comes to these
issues. I thank Hon. Madzimure because of his contribution and I can
see that Hon. Madzimure now has a new vision regarding His
Excellency the President, Comrade Robert Mugabe. He now sees him as
a man of vision, a visionary. I have to praise where praise is worth. He
even talked of the heroes in the war of liberation but he belongs to the
opposition. He sympathises with the fighters who died in the war.
The unity of purpose, which has been shown by this House in
debating this corruption issue shows that Zimbabwe will have a better
Parliament than any other Parliaments in the continent of Africa or in the
world. The problem is that whenever we come to debate issues on
developing the country, we let partisan politics divide us, but this is the
time we should talk in unison, with one voice, that illegal sanctions
should be removed, corruption in our country should be eradicated.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I feel very emotional. I was very much pained
because when we talked about the death of people, and this is something
that is coming from the opposition, I literally cried. Corruption does not
destroy political parties. If you condemn corruption, your party is not
going to be destroyed. When Jesus came into the world, he sacrificed
his life so that people would have an everlasting life. People realised his
value and greatness after his death and I believe that when we condemn
corruption no one is going to kill anybody. We would rather sacrifice
that one corrupt, individual than kill the whole nation. I will go over the
statement again and plead with Parliament to appoint a committee which
is going to investigate corruption in parastatals.
We have been in this place this week and we know that we may
not be able to get our coupons so that we can go back to our
constituencies because of corrupt individuals. As Members of
Parliament, we are earning US$800, but we have people who are earning
thousands and thousands of dollars. Corruption is destroying the
country. This is not only happening in parstatals but you find that
whenever there is a place where some money is going to be distributed
or services to be provided, there is corruption going on. When you go to
the local authorities and you want to be allocated a stand or a house, you
need to bribe someone. If you want to get treatment at a hospital, if you
want to be examined by a doctor or health personnel, you need to bribe
certain individuals.
As Members of Parliament, we need to stamp out this corruption.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this is emotional. This is a sad state of affairs. I know
that at times we may go astray in our contributions but the debate on
corruption is not going to destroy us as Members of Parliament but when
we are debating corruption, let us not debate it on partisan lines but let
us condemn corruption as it is so that if we do that, we will be MPs
worth representing the people of Zimbabwe. If we all talk against
corruption with one voice, corruption will be nipped in the bud, but if we
start castigating each other, then we will not be able to eradicate
corruption. Now, we have come to the time when we need to develop
Zimbabwe because we need to work together for the development of our
country.
Let me repeat myself. When we talk about the Cuthbert Dubes of
PSMAS and the Muchecheteres at ZBC and all the other institutions, the
ministries concerned should not make contributions or try to drive out
these committees during investigations. If there is a minister who is
going to try and detract or disturb the investigating committees, the
President should dethrone that minister. I was very much disturbed
when I received a call from an individual asking me to accept a US$500
bribe so, that I do not make a contribution on corruption. I would have
said bad things to that person but I know that if I were to do so I would
be going against the rules and conditions of this Parliament.
Our President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe is not corrupt and he is the
Head of State, every now and then, he speaks against corruption and
even the opposition parties have also supported the President on his talk
against corruption. Our President is not corrupt and therefore the illegal
sanctions against him should be removed. The corrupt people should be
the ones who are made to suffer because of their acts.
I would want to thank the Minister of Media, Information and
Broadcasting Services. I would like to say it in the presence of his
Deputy Minister Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira; we are saying they should
expose corrupt activities in their parastatals. If they do not do so, they
will also be guilty of corruption. With these few words, I thank you.
*MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for
giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on this motion on
corruption. So many terms were given to corruption, it was described as
cancerous. These are words which show the worst extent that we find in
corruption.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it gives me great pain that we now have problems
as Members of Parliament, in getting fuels so that we can do our
business in Parliament. All this is due to the corruption which is
perpetrated by people who have been in places and some have left these
places, these are the people who planted the seed of corruption.
I support this motion by looking for ways of eradicating corruption
and nipping it in the bud so that we are not equated with other countries
which are equally corrupt. We need to be in a Zimbabwe which is
corruption free. One of the ways that I think will be the best ways of
combating corruption is that the Directors of these companies who are
elected by ministers in particular parastatals; I think in the selection of
these Directors/Chief Executive Officers, the minister should be assisted
by hon. Members of Parliament or committees with oversight in the
Ministries even in the appointment of the Boards because there is
nepotism as the minister will appoint Board members from his
constituency only.
Like if a Minister comes from Kwekwe, you find that the majority
of the Board members will also come from Kwekwe. At times there are
some people who will tell the new minister that his predecessor
practiced nepotism, so do not be left behind, you should also practice
nepotism and appoint people from your constituency only. Therefore, I
propose that Parliament should have a committee that assists in the
appointment of Board members. We have many different committees at
Parliament that is Committee on Mines, Foreign Affairs et cetera, these
should be involved in the appointment of Chief Executive Officers, the
Board members and Chairpersons to those Boards.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in my observance of corruption, even when
investors come to Zimbabwe, be they whites who will be coming in
from any other country whether it is Europe, South Africa, China or
India; ZIM ASSET will never come to fruition because of what is
happening. When these people come to this country and are running an
organisation like ZIMASCO, for example, they recruit people from their
own countries instead of employing locals so that they do some of the
jobs which may be done by contractors on menial wages such as
physical digging of chrome, but these people employ migrant workers
from their countries.
We have engineers of Zimbabwean origin who are denied the
chance to work in these mines, as contracts are awarded to migrant
workers from their countries of origin. As a result, the money which
was supposed to be earned and used in Zimbabwe is then siphoned back
to those countries. These people not only bring in these migrant
workers, but they also import their own equipment. At times when we
see them coming from their countries, we are not able to tell that they
are relatives but they justify their claims, yet this person will not be
coming as an investor but as a general worker.
I will give an example, the chrome diggers are paid US$60.00 per
tonne if they are Africans but these white migrant workers are given
US$100.00 – US$200.00 per tonne. When the Zimbabwean worker
queries the reason behind the discrepancy, the response is that the
migrant worker is using machinery to extract the chrome. Therefore, he
is bringing out more chrome yet you as a Zimbabwean African are using
human beings who cannot dig as much as the machinery hence the
discrepancy in the payment.
When losses are incurred in the diamond mining, the Zimbabwean
miner pays US$60.00 per hour for hiring an excavator, whereas when it
is hired by these foreigners, it is said he paid US$3000.00 per hour,
which is false inflation of figures. As a result, this is also a way of
siphoning money. They are saying they want to close down the diamond
mines, this is all corruption. Whenever we have an investor coming into
the country, he comes face to face with corruption.
Corruption is now very dangerous in this country. Therefore, I beg
members of this august House that we were elected by the people of
Zimbabwe so that we can solve this scourge of corruption which has
brought all this suffering to the people of Zimbabwe. We are not
supposed to come here and tell lies and make small talk but we should
be serious on the eradication of corruption. I know this is a tough place.
When I came in as a new Member of Parliament, I used to have
problems.
Initially, when we were making our debates in this House, they
were run along partisan lines, debates were run along ZANU PF or
MDC lines but as of now, we are speaking in unison because we have
seen that corruption is cancerous and should be eradicated and
condemned. Mr. Speaker, I plead with you.
We also find that corruption has crept into hospitals. When I
visited Kwekwe Hospital, what I came across was that these hospitals
are solely funding themselves because they are saying the money which
they use for running that place, is the money which is paid as fees by the
patients. They say that there is an amount of money which is supposed
to be given to the head office. That levy is supposed to be paid, whether
they have any problems in the hospital, but that money is taken only by
an individual who is the only one who receives that money. From my
investigations, this levy is given to that individual.
In Kwekwe district, that fund is given to the provincial officer who
is the one who is running the hospitals in that institution. He is running
these hospitals as if they are private surgeries. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a
sad state of affairs because, when we look at any company which had a
general manager, when we grew up, the director was the owner of that
company. When you look at what is happening now, we have different
directors in councils and organisations. I discovered that this was only a
way of corrupting each other because they will be giving each other
money.
In the Ministry of Mines, we have the Minister, Deputy Minister,
Permanent Secretary and the Director of Mines. All those posts are
meant to be ways of siphoning money from the organisations. You are a
director of a geological department and you are the owner of that
organisation and yet, it is a ministry? There are so many directors in a
ministry. We need to think outside the box and we need to streamline the
operations of organisations because, when we look at councils, we have
a lot of these people. Instead of building, we have these titles, because as
far as I know, the director is the owner of that company and if I am a
director, my wife is also a director. So my question is, in these
organisations, why should we have so many directors and yet they are
not owners of those institutions or organisations?
In my company, I am the director because I am the owner. My
wife is the director because she is my wife, an ex-officio. There are some
issues that I would like you to assist me Mr. Speaker Sir, because I am
not well educated in these affairs. I am trying to get a way of putting
myself across so that my fellow parliamentarians may understand me.
There are times whereby contracts are signed when we have investors
who are coming from outside the country. They come to the ministry
because they want to take part in our mining like in cases like the Zisco
Steel, which I will give as an example.
When the contract is being signed, you find that the Minister signs.
The foreign investors who comes in and also the different ministries,
who are responsible for the input of this institution, like the Ministry of
Industry and Manufacturing. When these people were signing, there was
some fracas, because when one official signed, he seemed to have given
the power to this investor to take up even areas which did not involve his
Ministry. Because of the misunderstanding which ensued, it took a long
time for this investor to implement the project.
There is another angle to this side. When a Minister is going to
sign a contract and he goes alone. When he comes back, he does not
explain to the country as to the contents of the contract or when the
investment is going to be implemented. I think that is where corruption
starts. When the Minister is going outside the country, he goes alone and
if ever he has an entourage, he has a selection of handpicked individuals
whom he takes for the signing abroad. We have created committees
which have an oversight on these ministries. Therefore, what I would
urge is that, when a Minister is going to sign an agreement outside, he
should also involve members of the committee who are going to play the
oversight role.
Also if it is in mining or any investment, the Member of
Parliament for the area in which that workshop is located, should also be
involved so that, he will know what will be going on and even the
amount of ore in the ground will also be known how it is going to be
partitioned. Even when it is shipped out, all that, the local Member of
Parliament should know what is going on.
In ZISCO Steel, there is something which is coming up. You find
out that there are cases of corruption which are happening. This is why
people say, there is no smoke without fire. BIMCO is mining the ore.
This was set long back and it has been working with ZISCO. As of now,
we are told that the Indians who are coming into ZISCO Steel are saying
they will be coming and make their contracts new with new workers. So
what will happen with people from BIMCO? BIMCO has worked with
the machines and they are working on the ground but, we understand
that, BIMCO is going to be removed. BIMCO is an indigenous company
and the Indians are going to come and they are going to be siphoning the
foreign currency out of the country. We need to look at this issue.
Let me now turn onto ZIMASCO. In ZIMASCO, there is a plant
which has been constructed. The plant is going to do mining in this
dump which has been there for 100 years. This new company which is
coming in will work it in two years. We will get so many tonnes of iron
which will be found on this dump. I asked them as an individual and
with my little education. I said, working on a dump which has been run
for so many years, you want to run it for five years and where will your
plant be working on? What will be happening to your plant after you
have worked for five years? What will this plant be doing? We need to
look at this issue because these are serious investors who are coming
into the country and I think there is some stealing which is going on.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it pains me and it is very emotional. I know that
we are wooing foreign investors to come and invest in Zimbabwe. We
want them but we need to put security measures so that whenever we are
making any contract with them, ministers should also work with us, like
when we are talking of Chisumbanje where we are talking about ethanol.
They should talk to people who are in those areas because we have
people who know the truth and decisions will be made on the
information they should give us, but you will find that these Ministers
are not giving us time or any chance to make contributions in contracts
they will be making with new investors.
ZISCOSTEEL wanted to sell houses; these houses are
accommodating workers but you find that this organisation started by
first offering these houses to these workers. They gave them short
notice to raise the funds; they only gave them two months. After two
months the houses will be sold on auction and these workers will
become homeless. We are talking of a new investor who has just come
in and he is brought a plan which is going to work for five years and it is
going to harvest 90 million tonnes of steel and yet he wants to sell off
the houses which are meant for the workers and want to sell them in two
months. The question is why and on what mission?
As I look into the study thoroughly, Mr. Speaker Sir, and this
august House, there is corruption which is taking place. These are not
only Zimbabweans who are doing this, that is why we find even our
colleagues in the opposition are now speaking with one voice with us
that we need to fight corruption to the end. Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you
for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution.
MR. MANDIPAKA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for
affording me time to also say one or two things in relation to this very
important motion that was moved by Hon. Madzimure and seconded by
Hon. Chikwinya. I recollect Mr. Speaker Sir, that when His Excellency,
the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe officially opened the Eighth
Parliament, he vowed to zero tolerance to corruption –[HON
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- He also vowed that his administration would
crack down, if I am to use his words, he said his administration would
crack down on high level corruption.
I think from what is coming out of this House, this is the right time
that we live up to the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe’s words to
crack down on high level corruption -[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker Sir, when Hon. Madzimure made a reflection of the songs
that were being sung during the liberation struggle, it touched my heart.
If you go through the song, understand the lyrics of that song. It was
something to do with perfection of the human mind, character,
behaviour and so on. I think as Zimbabweans, we need to reflect on the
basics that caused some of us to wedge a protracted struggle.
I was very glad to note that, although Hon. Madzimure is in the
opposition, he correctly articulated that, there were certain virtues and
values that were important for a nation coming out of the songs that
were being sung during the liberation struggle -[HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear]- I would want to thank Hon. Madzimure in a very great
way. One of the days, I was reading The Herald, there is a column that
Panganai Kahuni normally writes. Panganai Kahuni, Mr. Speaker Sir, is
a Political Socio-Economic Commentator. He talks about corruption as
an illicit industry. He says the corruption vice that has engulfed our
economy in both the private and public sector needs a holistic,
courageous and honest fight to erradicate it.
I think he was telling the truth because I got the shock of my life to
understand that in this country, given the economic situation that we are
under, there are certain people who pocket well over US$300 000 per
month. I got the shock of my life to be very honest. Mr. Speaker Sir, let
me reiterate that where we come from, from the villages there, there are
people who are poverty stricken, to the extent that if you get that
US$300 000 which someone is pocketing per month, you are able to
cater for five or more wards in terms household projects.
We need to be very serious when we talk about corruption in this
country. There is another column again The Herald, it is an analysis
column, where writers from all walks of life share their opinions. I was
reading an article by Ben Tsododo. He points out that the world one day,
just woke up to some unprecedented news from the European Union,
where Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Marystar said or produced a
damning report on corruption in Europe. She actually highlighted that
there was breathtaking corruption in Europe, costing European countries
as much as United States US$160 billion per year.
When I look at corruption I see it as a vice which knows no
boundary at all. So it would not be correct to assert that corruption is
more rife in Africa than any other countries. I want to believe from what
we read from various articles that corruption has become a worldwide
pandemic, just perhaps as good as HIV/AIDS. One of the days I was
singing aloud and saying look this country is under sanctions, sanctions
are glowing at the roots our existence, but I now want to believe that
corruption too like sanctions is gnawing at the roots of our existence and
we need to do something -[HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Mr. Speaker Sir, Corruption erodes public trust; it undermines the
strength of economies, if we do not act now we will not have done
justice to this great nation of Zimbabwe –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
hear]- I want to support the thinking by Hon. Madzimure, seconded by
Hon. Chikwinya and also the position that Hon. Chinotimba took that
there an urgent need for that matter, that we come up with an almost
perfect Committee that looks into all these alleged corrupt activities in
various sectors of our economy. There is need for a very powerful,
honest, courageous and right minded Committee that looks into these
aspects, for the sake of transparency. I also want to believe that good
corporate governance is so necessary, if we are to combat corruption.
Mr. Speaker Sir, if scandals that are being reported in the media,
both private and public are anything to go by, then what should follow is
proper and thorough investigations, so that this nation is properly
informed of what is taking place. Issues that come to the public domain
are matters of interest to almost everyone, even men along the streets.
There is need Mr. Speaker Sir, that as a country we take corrective
measures where people go astray. I will also attempt to define what
corruption is. Section 174 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform
Act, Chapter 9:03 states that it is criminal abuse of duty as public
officer. If a public officer, in the exercise of duty or her functions as
such intentionally does anything that is contrary to or inconsistent with
his or her duty as a public officer or omits to do anything, which it is his
or her duty as a public officer to do, for the purpose of showing favour
or disfavour to any person, he or she shall be guilty of criminal abuse of
duty as a public officer.
However, if you look at the Criminal Law Codification Reform
Act, the punishment that is meted to those that are found wanting or in
breach of this section that I have cited, I do not think in my view, it is
punitive enough or deterrent enough. I want to believe that there is need
on our part to make sure that we craft laws that incorporate deterrent
sentences; very deterrent and very punitive so that at the end of the day,
we live an honest life.
It is shocking to read from our newspapers headlines like the one I
am going to talk about here. It was in the Herald, ‘Prison Services loses
$US1.8 million in tender scam.’ It was in the Herald of 11th February,
2014. I do not want to believe Mr. Speaker Sir, that US$1.8 million is
little money; that is a lot of money. I think we need to debate this
motion with the seriousness it deserves. This has had negative impact
even in the operations of our Prison Services or any other Government
institutions. I think there is need on our part to act and to act now.
Mr. Speaker Sir, when I relate to the definition of corruption, again
I would want to say corruption includes the use of public office for
private gain or personal benefit. If you use a public office for your
personal aggrandizement, that is corruption. Corrupt behaviour Mr.
Speaker Sir would include the following: bribery, extortion, issues to do
with fraud, misappropriation of funds or embezzlement, cronyism or
nepotism, appropriation of public assets or property for private use.
That in itself amounts to corruption.
I think it is high time this nation must have people of integrity and
people who are honest. We have come of age Mr. Speaker Sir, 33 to 34
years after independence and it is important that we be sincere to the
cause of our brothers and sisters who are very poor. I would also want
to say that conduct of economic business affairs like in sports or soccer
require observance of certain rules of the game so that proceedings are
orderly and we are also able to maintain a sense of fair play. This also
will necessitate the prevention of disastrous conflicts when we abide by
rules and orders. It also assists us as a nation to keep greedy, predatory
human instincts in check because we have greedy, predatory human
instincts that must be kept in check. So good corporate governance is
necessary. If we employ good corporate governance, we also minimise
socially undesirable consequences. Lastly, to ensure that referees and
players abide by certain accepted standards, those rules are very
necessary. Therefore, we also need rules and regulations in our
parastatals and our private sector.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as a nation we need to be accountable to those
people that elect us into office. We need to be transparent in whatever
we do so that this suspicion is not there. Mr. Speaker Sir, there is
Professor Syed Hussein Alatas of Malaysia, I was reading an article
about this man. He is a noted authority on corruption. He believes
leadership has a key role in combating corruption. As we sit here as
hon. members, we are leaders to a certain level. We have a key role to
make sure that we combat corruption. We have a role as well to set an
example to be honest, to have integrity and capacity for hard work and
once we do that as a nation, we build this nation for future generations.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we need firmness and boldness in decision making. At
the same time, we recommend that we need credibility. I urge the
Government to be serious about fighting corruption.
The media plays a pivotal role as the fourth estate someone alluded
to. It plays a watchdog role and it is important that we respect the role
that the media plays in bringing to the fore some of these issues that
might be happening behind our back. On the same note, I would also
urge the media to be thorough in whatever investigative journalism that
they employ themselves in so that at the end of the day we do not just
smear but we have concrete evidence. In law we say, he who alleges a
fact must prove it. Therefore, there is need for our media to verify when
they look at these cases.
Mr. Speaker Sir, last but not least, I would want to support
colleagues who talked about institutional strengthening in as far as
making laws in this Legislative House are concerned. We need very
strong laws. I do not know whether it was Hon. Chikwinya or Hon.
Madzimure who cited China, for an example. The penalties that they
impose to persons that are found wanting in this regard; I think it is high
time Mr. Speaker Sir, that we also look at that because corruption has
become endemic, pandemic and there is need on our part to have a
collective voice to ensure that this animal corruption is minimised if not
eliminated. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me
time to add my voice.
*MS. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Let me start by
thanking Hon. Madzimure for the motion that he has moved. I would
also want to thank Hon. Madzimure for being enlightened; he can now
see what was under the table. He spoke about how capable our
President is and that he is good, but there are thieves. Thieves who are
given jobs are the ones who steal. I was so happy when I heard it from
the opposition that President Mugabe is a good leader.
The President always talk about thieves and that they should be
arrested. I was also happy to hear Hon. Chikwinya contributing that Mr.
Pasi earns about US$310 000. If it was possible, on the thousands that
he is earning, looking at us in this august House, we are law makers and
we earn US$800, it is a shame. I think it is shameful, not only the
US$800, but for me to board transport from Hurungwe to Harare to
make laws, there is no money for fuel. There are very few who can earn
thousands.
If we are given the US$300 000 as Parliament, we can do a lot and
remain with a surplus amount. What is amazing is that the President
says that this country is very rich, but people out there in the rural areas
always ask where the milk and honey is. For sure, our country flows
with milk and honey and the President is well aware of it. The wealth is
in the hands of a few and they enjoy quietly. They have ganged up as
thieves and are united in being corrupt. They steal people’s monies.
There is hunger, for example in my constituency and there is no
money to buy maize for those people. However, you will find that some
people were getting so much in just 30 days. There was a Minister who
was watching; he was just watching when people were stealing and he
was also getting US$800 while he smiled at those getting thousands of
dollars – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that
as Parliament, we should not beat about the bush but let everything be
transparent.
We are saying that for those who are getting the money, who signs
for those cheques? The President signs by giving you a job to do, but he
does not give you the mandate to steal because he does not steal. He is
also facing challenges. Some of the thieves are sitting pretty and yet
they were never involved in the liberation struggle. There are some war
veterans who are out there and are living in dire situations yet someone
who never participated in the liberation struggle is enjoying. This is an
alarming situation.
It is shameful that hon. members cannot get financed to do
Government business while they are mocked that they smuggle bread
into the hotels because of hunger. It is a shame that hon. members are
getting paid US$800. These things should be talked about when our
Ministers are here. If the President denounces corruption, then we
should be ashamed to be involved at any level. Mr. Speaker, when you
reprimand us, we listen to you, but the others do not listen – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Who do they think they are?
The President of this country has been made to walk on a tight
rope over people whom he has appointed to certain duties. I think he
should retire those people. They should be send home for further
investigations because the President should not lose sleep over those
people. The wealth should be distributed equally amongst all. These
people should know that they should enjoy wealth with the rest of the
people and stop being selfish as they climb the ladder solely.
As Parliament, I think we should make a ruling that one person
should only chair one board. There are so many people in the country,
unless we are saying that there are no more people to chair those boards
– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – if there are no more people, then
women should not practice family planning so that the population
expands. Those people are not performing their roles as parents because
they will be sitting on so many board meetings, some in the morning and
afternoons that they do not have time for their families.
There is an issue that has been discussed concerning the Minister
of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. I think
when we talk about corruption, we should do some research. When it
comes to the Mayor and the Town Clerk, Mr. Mahachi, the procedure
should have been followed. Therefore, the Mayor should have followed
the procedure and it will have gone well for us. The reinstatement of
Mr. Mahachi is not that he was a thief, but we are saying that the Mayor
should follow procedures and make recommendations so that the
Minister fires that person.
In here we are not happy; some people are stealing while others are
dying of hunger. If the Minister is the one who stole, he should be
accountable for what he did. As Members of Parliament, we are saying
NO to corruption, whether ZANU PF or MDC because we only have
one Head of State. If he condemns corruption, why should you continue
against that condemnation and roam around feeding yourself while
others starve. I want to applaud you Mr. Speaker to stand on our behalf
so that we are remunerated well. Out there in our constituencies, people
are dying and we are even ashamed to attend funerals because we cannot
take anything there. We also want our children to go to expensive
schools. I am not saying Mr. Speaker that take people’s money and give
it to us. Give us what is due to us, so that our children will go to better
schools. We are not educated and then our children are not educated as
well. It is only children of thieves who are being educated. I think, Mr.
Speaker, you should stand on our behalf. I do not think there is a
country which can give their workers US$800 and no fuel for that
matter. I think you should look into that, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, what we want are just vehicles for us to be able to be
effective in our constituencies. I think we have gone a long time and no
action is being taken. I do not know what people want the Head of State
to do. I think the President must come out in the open once more, and
condemn corruption. I want to thank the mover and the seconder of the
motion.
MR. D. P. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for finally
recognising me….
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. I think the hon. member has got
eyes to see. You are not alone in this House; there are many others who
stand up; who want to debate. So, it does not matter if he is the only one
from Binga, the Speaker is the Speaker for the nation. I kindly request
Hon. Sibanda to withdraw the expression, ‘finally’?
MR. D. P. SIBANDA: My apology Mr. Speaker, I withdraw.
Before I make my contribution Mr. Speaker, let me make mathematical
exercise of some figures that have been thrown around especially the
figure pertaining to what the top revenue collector man is earning. If
that figure is correct of US$310 000 per month, it is important for me to
play that mathematical exercise because ZIMRA is the entry point of all
the revenue for this nation. Therefore, if it is being held at the entry
point, it might mean that at the end, there is nothing that is going to the
nation. If the Commissioner General is earning US$310 000 per month,
that translates to about 14.9% of the total budget that was allocated to
this august House for this year. What it means is that his annual salary
is about 14.9% of what the whole operations of Parliament were
allocated as a budget for 2014.
My hon. brothers and sisters have already done justice to this
motion. However, I would also want to touch on a few aspects of this
motion, I want to look, Mr. Speaker at the effects of corruption on the
economy and the society. I want to look at the role of the Executive on
curbing and managing corruption. Finally, I want to proffer my own
opinion on what we can do in order to deal with this issue. This motion
comes against a background where we have been seeing a lot of reports
in newspapers flying around about what is happening relating to
corruption in this country.
Mr. Speaker, it comes against a background in which allegations
are being made that the Acting President had actually warned
newspapers not to publish corruption. It comes against a background in
which one Hon. Dr. Kereke is fighting a lone war against corruption.
Unfortunately my brother has left, but I need to acknowledge that he has
been fighting a lone war to fight corruption against a deafening silence
from the State. That is the background of the debate of this motion.
Mr. Speaker, I have basically put about three effects of corruption.
The first one being that corruption, by its nature, increases the cost of
doing business. What this means is that if an investor wants to come into
the country and start a business, instead of budgeting let us say US$30
million, they will have to add a certain fraction in order to grease certain
hands for that project to occur. Therefore, it means that a US$30 million
project will end up costing like 30.5, 31, 32, 33 or 40 million United
States Dollars because some people have got to benefit before that
project begins.
Naturally, Mr. Speaker, the effect of such an occasion is that an
investor will be discouraged from getting into that economy because
there is no set down figure for bribing officials, there is no set down
figure for making sure that you get the permission that you want in order
to do business. It is a speculative figure and therefore, most investors
will avoid coming into the economy and the economy will not grow as a
result of corruption.
The third effect is that naturally, development projects are stalled
as funds that are meant for the actual implementation of the project are
diverted towards the satisfaction of an individual’s appetite at the
expense of the general public. The fourth and final effect, Mr. Speaker,
is that the perception against the country becomes one that deters the
general appetite for the investors to come into that economy. Mr.
Speaker, because of that, I think we need to give as much weight as
possible to this motion.
In my view, the role of Government in curbing corruption and in
improving corporate governance can be explained in three ways. Firstly,
it is the fundamental role of Government as the biggest employer in the
economy to implement corporate governance within its various
ministries, parastatals and State owned enterprises. The Executive is a
critical player in the economy. Therefore it is important that it tries to
follow corporate governance procedures.
Secondly Mr. Speaker, the role of Government in corporate
governance is that it has got a role to monitor operations. Not only of its
enterprises but also of other enterprises and also to protect the vulnerable
members of society from that cancerous practice called corruption.
It has also a role to enforce mechanisms of corporate governance.
Where others are erring, the Government must be seen to be coming in
to make sure that it implements corrective measures against that.
Therefore, as I assess the role that the Executive has got to play, Mr.
Speaker, I cannot fail to look at our Executive from a historical
perspective. It is important that I look at how the Executive has
conducted itself in matters to do with corporate governance and
corruption.
Now, my honourable colleagues highlighted a number of
corruption activities that have happened in this country and without
really repeating so much, I think the most prominent cases up to about
2001, I have got 19 that I can cite and that have happened in this
country.
In 1987 Mr. Speaker, there was the ZISCO Steel Blast furnace
scandal. In 1987 again, there was the Air Zimbabwe Fokker scandal. In
1986, there was the National Railways Housing scandal, 1988 there was
the Willowgate scandal, 1989 ZRP Santana scandal which was
mentioned by my brother and in 1994, the War Victims Compensation
scandal which was again mentioned. There was also the Grain
Marketing Board grain scandal, the VIP Housing Scheme scandal was
done in 1996, the 1998 Boka Banking scandal, the 1998 ZESA YTL
Soltran scandal, 1998 Telecel scandal and I am not sure whether it has
been mentioned but the Telecel scandal of 1998 is critical. 1998 again,
the Harare City Council Refuse Tender scandal, the 1999 Housing Loans
scandal, the 1999 NOCZIM scandal, the 1999 DRC Timber and
Diamond scandals, the Ministry of Water and Rural Development
Chinese Tender scandal, the Harare Airport scandal and a number of
scandals Mr. Speaker that I can cite.
However, when we try to look at all these scandals, that have been
listed here as we try to analyse the role that the Executive plays in
curbing corruption, Mr. Speaker, we will discover that our Executive’s
conduct has not been the best. I think out of all these scandals the only
one where we can say that some bit of action was taken was the
Willowvale Motor Industry scam where we had a number of Ministers
resigning and a few who were prosecuted and then pardoned.
When we look at that Mr. Speaker, what it means is that there has
been lack of political willingness; that political will, to make sure that
we nip corruption in the bud. There has not been that will from the
Executive to ensure that these corruption scandals which are going
around come to a stop.
We begin to ask ourselves Mr. Speaker; why is it that the
Executive is taking a lackadaisical kind of approach towards such
scandals that are taking place in this country? It gives us room to
scrutinise members of the Executive themselves and say, how have they
contributed towards the scandals, even the current scandals which are
taking place Mr. Speaker? For example, let me be pardoned Mr. Speaker
for saying that in the ZISCO scandal, I still remember that a high
ranking figure was mentioned and that is the then Minister of Water and
Natural Resources. He is said to have collected a sum of US$11 000
from ZISCO Steel for merely going on a State visit in Botswana that had
nothing to do with ZISCO steel. What that means Mr. Speaker, is that
we have got a Cabinet Minister who was going on a State visit, drawing
allowances from the State coffers but also drawing other allowances
called entertainment allowances to the tune of US$11000 for visiting
Botswana on a business that has got nothing to do with that parastatal.
So, when we come back now and try to look at what has been
happening at PSMAS, ZBC, ZINWA and many other parastatals, we
begin to ask ourselves because rumours Mr. Speaker are actually going
round though they might be hear-say but it is important to note because
they become a pointer to what might be happening somewhere. Rumours
are going round Mr. Speaker to the extent that Ministers are having gifts
of big vehicles being bought for them by parastatals as gifts and not as
vehicles to use during their performance of their duties.
It is stated that Ministers, for example in the ZBC scandal Mr.
Speaker, it is being alleged that a wife to the Minister was actually
drawing salaries every month from ZBC without ever being employed
by that parastatal – [AN HON. MEMBER: Mukadzi waShamu,
Ministeress]- Mr. Speaker, rumours are also doing rounds that at
PSMAS, Ministers, when they are going outside the country on duty, as
much as they get allowances from Government, they were also drawing
allowances from PSMAS as entertainment allowances. On what basis,
nobody really knows.
Mr. Speaker, as we speak, it is splashed all over the internet that
one of the causes that have brought down CMED – CMED used to
supply fuel throughout the country Mr. Speaker but now their pumps are
dry – and it is all over the internet and it is splashed that fuel worth over
US$3 million was diverted to a private garage of a Minister.
So, this is the kind of raw that we are seeing being played by the
Executive in this country. The nation is busy crying and it is crying
because it wants answers. Answers should come from the same
leadership. We look at a parastatal like Hwange Colliery Company Mr.
Speaker. It is actually alleged that some customers of Hwange Colliery’s
coal, are actually being undercharged, then the difference of the official
charge and the actual price goes to certain individuals’ pockets.
We have got a scenario in this country where people who run down
parastatals instead of being punished, we see them being elevated to
higher positions. We have a scenario in which even if allegations are
thrown around against senior Government officials, we do not have the
conscience to say what I have done is bad, let me resign. We do not have
that conscience. We have people who when they do whatever they do,
they will continue serving in their official roles as if nothing has
happened.
It is my view that if we are going to rectify the situation that we
have, it is high time all those who have been mentioned that are in the
Executive to have played a role in some form of corruption or scandal
should be asked to resign. If they do not resign then they should be fired
from their offices. There is no way we can continue to entrust the
Executive with the responsibility to investigate corruption when the
same Executive has got the capacity to stand up and say we want to
muzzle the press that is bringing out corruption.
We cannot have trust in an Executive that is also involved and
named in corruption scandals, to investigate those scandals. What we
only need to do is that all those members of the Executive that have been
named and shamed in various scandals, let them do the right thing and
come before the Zimbabweans and say, we are leaving the posts that we
have been holding because there is no longer trust in them.
It cannot continue to be business as usual when things are going in
the manner that they are going. As a starting measure, it is important that
the Executive does the right thing and that is to make sure that Ministers
who have been implicated in several scandals, it is high time that they
say goodbye to public office so that proper investigations can be done in
those scandals.
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST
PROVINCE (MR. MUDARIKWA): I move that the debate do now
adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume Tuesday, 4th March, 2014.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR
MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE, the House adjourned at
Twenty Nine Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 4th March,
2014.

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