Indigenisation Committee a vivid reflection of factionalism

By Michael Gwarisa

THE country’s ruling party Zanu-PF romped to an election victory in 2013 which saw it getting the biggest representation in both houses of Parliamentary that is National Assembly and Senate.

The world over, Parliaments have set up thematic portfolio committees that are meant to provide checks and balances of both government, public and private entities with the aim of instilling order and professionalism for the good of the nation.

The Zimbabwean parliament has 19 operational portfolio committees which are chaired mainly by members of the ruling party Zanu-PF.

However, owing to inter party factionalism and pigeon horning, the capacity for these committees to discharge their duties effectively is under severe threat as party members jostle to please their masters.

The main factions the Generation 40 (G40) is believed to be a brainchild of the First Lady Grace Mugabe and Higher and Tertiary education minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and crew while the Lacoste faction is believed to be a creation of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the bulk of legislators from the Midlands and Masvingo provinces.

The history of these two factions came to the limelight after the successful ouster of former Vice President Joice Mujuru after she was accused of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe using witchcraft and hired professional assassins.

After the Mujuru debacle, it just took a few months before the infighting began, exposing the existence of two other factions the Lacoste and G40.

Of all the Parliament thematic committees however, the committee on Youth Empowerment and Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya Legislator Mayor Justice Wadyajena who is believed to be a Lacoste apologist himself seem to be the hardest hit by factionalism.

It has become vivid and evident that the youthful committee chair is after exposing corruption and its cousins. However, the nature in which business is conducted somehow reveals some factional elements hiding behind the committee’s mandate of playing an oversight role to all happenings in youth and indigenisation sector.

Ever since Wadyajena assumed chairmanship, he has been on a mission to expose the G40 faction as evidenced by the countless invitations his committee extended to former minister of Indigenisation Saviour Kasukuwere, current minister Patrick Zhuwawo and the ministry officials over a number of alleged corrupt activities they committed as entities or at individual capacities.

The two ministers because of their political background and allegiance to the G40 have successfully dodged and evaded parliamentary hearings resulting in a number of cases suffering premature deaths.

More rotten deals exposed
More rotten deals exposed

At one point, Hon Patrick Zhuwawo came to a parliamentary committee to give oral on his involvement in the awarding of Triple Bottom a US$25 000 tender under unclear circumstances. To the committee’s surprise, he came visibly drunk, a deliberate move to duck questions from the committee members leading to his early ejection from the committee.

As one closely follows proceedings in the committee in can be evident that factional fights will be at play. There is visible tension amongst members of parliament who comprise the thematic committee as they jostle to defend their factional camps.

The Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) was recently invited to a portfolio committee held recently to give oral evidence with regard to its involvement in the purchase of 100 000 litters of fuel under using Zimdef funds.

Factional tempers again exuded themselves as members of the committee were divided over whether they should excuse the two representatives who had come without enough documentation as the committee had suggested.

The two young people who had come on behalf of the ZYC director Livingstone Dzikira were sent packing after it emerged they had come ill prepared.

Later in the day, the two juniors had photos of them taken with Vice President Pelekhezela Mphoko and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwawo meaning probably they had gone to give feedback to the architects of the G40 faction on how they had successfully presented a damp squib to the committee on indigenisation.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Despite Parliament’s good efforts to bring order and sanity in the operations of the ministry of youth and indigenisation, the committee on indigenisation is fast sinking into a factional war zone where political scores are settled. At one point Zhuwawo accused Wadyajena of orchestrating a Witch-hunting crusade against members of his faction something Wadyajena vehemently refused.

Due to its minority representation in Parliament, unfortunately the Movement for Democratic Change’s voice is just shriek cry from wilderness sinking in the midst of think factional battles that threaten the existence of the economy at large.

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