Extracted from Parliamentary Hansard 27/06/2017
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me start by saying here the vision and mission of the Auditor-General, the Auditor-General’s Office is a creation of this Parliament. It says, “to examine, audit and report to Parliament on the management of public resources of Zimbabwe through committed and motivated staff with the aim of improving accountability and corporate governance.”
The reason I am reading this mission statement is that I am holding three books here. One is of Appropriation, one is of State Enterprises and the other one is of local authorities for 2016 that have been tabled in this Parliament by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. What it means is that the Auditor-General is now up to date and for a very long time, the Auditor-General was four to five years behind and now she is up to date. So she is living up to her mission and vision.
What I understand is that the first five year term of the Auditor-General is coming to an end and for me, we do not change a winning formula and we must not change a winning team. The Auditor-General as it is, is a winning team and formula. I would implore that the Auditor-General is given another five year term so that she continues with her good work – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – What I know, with the reports that the Auditor-General has submitted to this Parliament through the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, is that there is a lot of Hannah Hannah in the corridors of power to probably not renew her contract so that people are not audited. I am going to put that aside but, borrowing from Hon. Nduna’s English, my clarion call is that the Auditor-General is given another five year term so that she continues with her good work.
Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, the report that has been presented by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee makes very sad reading. I have browsed through the Appropriation of 2016 and it makes equally very sad reading. The Permanent Secretary who was in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development who has just been transferred to another Ministry is a former General Manager of National Railways of Zimbabwe. He then became a Principal Director in Government, was promoted to Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and now moved to Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in Zimbabwe is one of the most problematic because money has been lost in that sector. The President has alluded that money has been lost in that sector.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Munodawafa is replacing Prof. Gudyanga who has been recommended to be fired by your Parliament because of incompetence and fraud. The Portfolio Committee on Public Service has recommended that he be fired yet he has been transferred to another Ministry. I am so happy that the Vice President who is the deputy head of State, the deputy head of Government and the deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces is here. I want to ask a question to Hon. Vice President Mphoko – what goes on in your head when you hear a report like the one that has been presented in this Parliament? Do you go home, eat supper and sleep? – [HON. HOLDER: Address the Speaker!] – In this Parliament, back benchers are not in this Parliament to protect Ministers. They must know that – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Back benchers are not here to protect speakers. The Vice President of Zimbabwe, Hon. Mphoko, the Vice President of Zimbabwe Hon. Mnangagwa and the Head of State of this country, Cde Robert Mugabe are very intelligent men. They do not need to be protected by back benchers because they can protect themselves – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – Why should a back bencher who got – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
HON. HOLDER: On a point of order Madam Speaker! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order – [HON. HOLDER: Point of order!] – Order, order Hon. Members, Hon. Vice President Mphoko please.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO): I want to help him so that at least he continues. Madam Speaker, he asked about how we feel when such reports are presented? Personally, I am very allergic to corruption, I do not like it. I am not a corrupt man. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Thank you. – [HON. MARIDADI: Thank you. Ngiyabonga baba Mphoko, ngiyabonga kakhulu.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Maridadi please stick to the debate. – [HON. HOLDER: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Holder, I will not allow any points of order at this juncture. The Hon. Vice President has spoken and I will not allow you to speak after him. – [HON. HOLDER: Zvakanaka!] – Hon. Maridadi, please continue with your debate.
HON. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, the audit system that we use in Zimbabwe is the same audit system that is used in Malawi, Zambia and almost the same audit system that is used in South Africa. I have taken the liberty to look at all those jurisdictions and did a comparative analysis of what happens in those jurisdictions.
When they present audit reports in the Parliament of Malawi, the Minister who is in charge of that Ministry, if it is the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and whatever, the Permanent Secretaries of ministries that the Committee has oversight on are in Parliament seated there. The Ministers are in Parliament, they are seated there and the report is presented. The Minister will rise and respond to that report and say exactly what they are going to do in response to issues that have been raised in that report and that is the system that we must adopt in this country. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Dr. Gumbo should have been there, Mr. Munodawafa should have been seated in that chair and Hon. Mpariwa should have been reading this report. I would have asked Hon. Dr. Gumbo – are you going to have a good night’s sleep after listening to this report? I would have asked Mr. Munodawafa – what are you going to do after listening to this report because an honourable man would simply say, Minister, I have failed and here is my resignation. I have eaten enough money and done enough corruption. Here is my resignation letter – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Madam Speaker, my blood boils when I go back to the constituency. The house that I live in, tonight we do not know where our meal is going to come from, our supper. I do not know where my supper is going to come from tonight. In the house next door, they also do not know where their supper is going to come from and we have a report which says $97 million cannot be accounted for. Madam Speaker, $97 million is about 1.2 billion rands. If you take $97 million and put it in Mutare Municipality, even stray cats in Mutare will change their lifestyles because they will realise money has been put into this town. That money cannot be accounted for and there is a gentleman who is driving a Government vehicle, going to his house, enjoying a salary and nothing has happened to him. He has been re-assigned to another Ministry where he is going to continue pilferage to the coffers of this country. It cannot be accepted.
One day I was in the Portfolio Committee and there was one gentleman who came to give evidence. I was saying, how about Parliament going to Highfield, Mukumbura, Mabvuku and Kuwadzana and do these sessions with the public of which the public would hear that the gentleman who is giving evidence has just misappropriated $1.1 million and nothing has happened. Anorohwa kuMabvuku ikoko. People in Mabvuku will kill him because this money does not belong to me or to this Parliament. It belongs to the 15 million of us in Zimbabwe.
What pains me most is that Zimbabwe is endowed with people with skills? Why do we recycle the same 21 Permanent Secretaries as if they are the only people who are called Zimbabweans? For the life of myself, I cannot understand why Parliament has recommended that somebody should be fired but instead of being fired he has been put into a Ministry where there are more revenue streams.
Madam Speaker, I was in that Portfolio Committee when Mr. Munodawafa came, he confessed that it does not really matter how much money we put into Air Zimbabwe. Air Zimbabwe can never be viable for as long as they use the business model that they are using. It is there; it is recorded and he said it, yet he is the same man, one month earlier he allowed $27 million to be put into Air Zimbabwe without even a single sentence to say I have put money into that parastatal. That money has been thrown down a bottomless pit and it will never be recovered.
That level of impunity; that level of entitlement cannot be allowed to continue. I can guarantee you, with this type of reports, one day we will not be Members of Parliament, but our sons and daughters will be Members of this Parliament. They will go and spit on our graves and say, what were you doing in that Parliament talking and talking and yet you allowed these fraudsters to continue to steal our money.
There is another issue of $ 1.9 million which has been stolen. We have orphans; children who have lost both parents to either road accidents or diseases. Those children are not going to school and yet this Government fails to account for $1.9 million and the person who has caused the disappearance of that $1.9 million is still there wearing a suit, going to a Government Complex and pretending to be working for Government. It is not acceptable – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
The Lion King accident claimed two people from my constituency. One of them was a young woman, 32 years old and she left two young children. One is about nine months old and the other one is about 4 years old. We were at that funeral and Government had not disbursed $200 for the funeral. There are children who have to be looked after until they turn 18 years. Those children – [HON. HOLDER: Inaudible interjection.] – I will not listen to that man. I will call him names if he continues to do that and I will not be very charitable when I call him names.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, focus on the debate.
HON. MARIDADI: Please tell him to keep quiet. We are discussing serious matters here and if he continues to disturb me, I will call him names and I will call him names that is so unpalatable; he will never like me. I am very good at that by the way.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Maridadi. I will not allow emotions to go over this motion because it is important for us to have a report of this motion. Hon. Holder please, can you please respect the Member who is speaking so that he can debate. If you have any comments, I will allow you to debate on the same matter.
HON. MARIDADI: This matter is a serious issue. I get emotional about this matter because it is a serious issue. This is Zimbabwean money which is being stolen by individuals that we know. I represent a constituency of about 80 thousand people. If I go round that constituency, there are households and I am going to one of such households today, where there are 18 people living at that household; none of them knows where to get the next meal.
I was talking about that lady who passed on. The children, one of them is about one year old and the other is about four years old. We do not have a mechanism of looking after the disadvantaged in society. Those children must now be a responsibility of this Government. Now, how can the State take responsibility of such people when such money is disappearing without trace?
Madam Speaker, we are talking here of ZINARA – [HON. HOLDER: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Holder, I will not allow you to continue in that way. If you continue to shout, I will not hesitate to chase you out of this House.
HON. MARIDADI: ZINARA, when I hear the word ZINARA….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, you are left with five minutes. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members on my right, this is a very important motion.
HON. MARIDADI: I am left with five minutes but I am being disturbed. My recommendation Madam Speaker; the Portfolio Committee Chairperson has given timelines of what must be done. Those timelines must be observed. If this Parliament wants to be taken seriously by the people that we represent out there, heads in Government must roll. The first head to roll in this Government is that of Mr. Munodawafa. Concurrently, the head that must roll is that of Professor Gudyanga. If it were me running the show, I would expect the Minister to come with the resignation of the Permanent Secretary. He hands it over to the President and says Mr. President, here is the resignation letter from the Permanent Secretary and by the way, here is my resignation as well and they leave together. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you.