Institutions that are supposed to investigate corruption like the anti-corruption commission and the police are compromised with one commissioner taking home only US$19 a month, the Member of Parliament for Kambuzuma Willias Madzimure said when he wound up the motion on corporate governance.
He said he had information that a former anti-corruption commissioner is now claiming ownership of a commission house.
And no one knows what happened to US$5.5 million that was released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to build houses for anti-corruption staff. No house was built.
Madzimure said the anti-corruption commission and its staff were supposed to be independent but he had learnt that they were on the payroll of the Salary Services Bureau which handles the salaries for civil servants and the salaries of the commission staff were shocking.
“I have got a pay slip here where one officer earns US$300 and with deductions, he remains with US$19 and you expect that person to investigate a US$6 million deal. Mr. Speaker you are simply sending bete kumukaka. Rinongosvika richingoinda nomusoro zvatopera and that is another issue Mr. Speaker,” he said.
Madzimure who sponsored the motion said he was glad that the executive had responded to the motion promptly but he was not happy with the gaps in the corporate governance framework adopted by cabinet.
He proposed the appointment of an ad hoc committee to deal with issues of corruption but hoped that members of Parliament appointed to this committee would be people of integrity.
“It is important that we have people of integrity and it is important that we will have people who do not think that by belonging to their parties and at the levels they are at, that is the alpha and omega of their lives. It must be those people who will be prepared sometimes to lose their positions because of having exposed the issues of corruption,” he said.
MR. MADZIMURE: I want to thank all the hon. members who were brave enough to stand up and contribute towards this motion. I also want to wind up my motion. By so doing, I want to remind members that Zimbabwe belongs to all of us. There is no person who is more patriotic than the other – that we deal with corruption as individuals and not the institutions because institutions are formed by people. It is those people who are corrupt not the institutions.
Motions should be used to build a stronger Zimbabwe as well as transparent systems and people of character and integrity. Mr. Speaker, those are the things that make Zimbabwe. As Hon. Chapfika was debating, I could not help but just to agree with him entirely. The manner in which he debated and the manner in which he dealt with certain issues was so comprehensive that it should have been a full House whilst he was debating because he was debating a lot of sense.
Mr. Speaker, we fought in the liberation war purely to liberate ourselves and establish a society that is built on just transparent and a family. We as Zimbabweans thought that we were going to do our things in more equitably, distribute our wealth more equitably than the British. Mr. Speaker, if you look at our situation right now, we have failed completely.
I want also to thank members for their endeavours to uphold the principles that I have enunciated. Under serious temptations from the desires of the flesh just to attack each other and the desire to personalise the debate which some were trying but by so doing, diluting the whole debate. Some of them should also be forgiven considering the different effects of corruption on individual MPs and their constituencies.
Mr. Speaker, how we suffer from the effects of corruption as Members of Parliament is quite different. There are quite a number who have benefitted from corruption who do not want the issue to be debated at all. There are also other members who have seen the suffering of the people that they represent who want corruption to be exposed.
The motion Mr. Speaker, raised serious debate in and outside Parliament. This is good for this Parliament. Debate also spilled into Cabinet and the evidence was seen here in Parliament when the Hon. P Chinamasa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development came here to respond, especially on the issue of corporate governance. These are some of the few motions that have forced members of the Executive to respond immediately.
This was also a high level of respect by the Minister to the institution of Parliament. May be it is also because of his understanding of Parliament and the fact that he is also a lawyer and has been around for quite some time.
While the swift response was noble Mr. Speaker, there were also too many gaps in the response in terms of the Corporate Governance Framework itself (CGF). There are a lot of gaps that were shown in the corporate Governance Framework and I think the Minister will also take heed of what members were saying during their debates to make sure that he perfects the Corporate Governance Framework. If the framework had been brought to Parliament, we could have also assisted the Executive in perfecting the framework.
Mr. Speaker, I would also want to thank members that contributed to the motion starting with the seconder Hon. Chikwinya. Hon. Chikwinya actually, his debate caused a lot of anxiety, discomfort and I think it is the role of Members of Parliament to raise some of those issues. The moment we become so cautious of the implications to ourselves, then we lose the credibility of being a Member of Parliament.
Mr. Speaker, it is quite difficult for a Member of Parliament to do the thorough research that we would be expected to do considering that we do not even have staff to back us up. Members of Parliament are informed by the people that they represent and those people will be listening whether the Member of Parliament is going to put across the issues. So that issue has to be dealt with and cautiously because I still believe that this is the only arena where the people of Zimbabwe can expect issues to be raised and the person has the immunity to do so whilst I am also cognisant of the fact that we have to be mindful of the effects of what we will have said in Parliament, outside but if we become too cautious as well, then it means nothing will ever be debated in Parliament.
Mr. Speaker, the level of corruption in Zimbabwe requires a serious paradigm shift. The Commission itself Mr. Speaker, right now we do not have an Anti-Corruption Commission because we adopted the new Constitution, making the previous Constitution just a piece of paper. We should have appointed a new set of commissioners. Right now we have got the so-called Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission but in the Constitution, it is null and void. We do not have an Anti-Corruption Commission.
As I was dealing with this matter Mr. Speaker, because of the fact that we do not have a commission right now, there are a lot of things that are also happening at the Anti-Corruption Commission to the extent that even the properties of the Anti-Corruption Commission are being sold. I have got some information where one who used to be an Anti- Corruption commissioner is now claiming ownership of a commission’s house. The person who facilitated the disposal of that particular house is a Permanent Secretary in the then Ministry of National Housing but the Anti-Corruption Commission is an independent commission, meaning that the matters of the commission are dealt with by the commission itself.
The question Mr. Speaker, that we will now ask ourselves is that: Who actually authorised the sale of Lot No. 2 of Lot 600 of Greendale. Who authorised the transactions because the Anti-Corruption Commission was an independent commission and if I look at even their conditions and the Act that governs that, the person who has authority over that commission is the President. I also realised that the Anti- Corruption Commission staff get their salaries through the Salary Services Bureau but we are saying this must be an independent commission which is not compromised. Their salaries are so shocking Mr. Speaker. I have got a pay slip here where one officer earns US$300 and with deductions, he remains with US$19 and you expect that person to investigate a US$6 million deal. Mr. Speaker you are simply sending bete kumukaka. Rinongosvika richingoinda nomusoro zvatopera and that is another issue Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker there is also another issue that I stumbled upon regarding the commission gain. It is the issue of the $5. 5 million that it got from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to buy housing for junior staff. Up to today Mr. Speaker, no houses have been bought and the now issue is how do we account for the $5. 5 million. So you can see that Mr. Speaker, our institutions that are supposed to fight corruption are now also compromised.
You go to the police Mr. Speaker, if my memory serves me right, almost all members who debated were talking about the corruption within the police force and the police are expected on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission to arrest and who is also going to arrest the police. Again, it takes us back to the issue of the Anti- Corruption Act.
So Mr. Speaker, with all that, it means that there is serious work for the committee that is proposed. I want to thank Hon. Zindi for moving that particular amendment because that is one of the issues that had been missing in my original motion even though I had put that suggestion.
I want to thank her very much because now we have an opportunity as Members of Parliament, to establish a committee. I also expect those who will be appointed into the committee to be people of integrity. It is important that we have people of integrity and it is important that we will have people who do not think that by belonging to their parties and at the levels they are at, that is the alpha and omega of their lives. It must be those people who will be prepared sometimes to lose their positions because of having exposed the issues of corruption.
So Mr. Speaker, I conclude that through you Mr. Speaker, the Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) appoint an ad hoc committee that will deal with the issues of corruption and ensure that maybe we can save our people Mr. Speaker.
Looking at the situation right now, Hon. Mguni was talking of the two vices that are affecting Zimbabwe’s economy where he said, sanctions and corruption. The most evil thing Mr. Speaker that I have realised that it is the biggest impediment is corruption. You look at all the amounts and if you add them up, they go up to billions. Imagine if we could get billions as Members of Parliament to develop our constituencies, we will do great and Zimbabwe will be a great country and I want to thank honourable members for supporting this motion.
I therefore commend the establishment of the ad hoc committee Mr. Speaker and I move that the motion be adopted.
Motion put and agreed to.