Biti in trouble

Biti in trouble

Movement for Democratic Change vice-president Tendai Biti who is also the chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee is in trouble.

Parliament has cancelled all meetings of the Public Accounts Committee until the dispute over its chairmanship has been resolved by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.

This includes the meetings that were scheduled for tomorrow morning.

The committee was expected to hear oral evidence from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on payments made by the government for Command Agriculture and Presidential Input Support Scheme.

It was also expected to hear oral evidence from Sakunda Holdings on payments made by the government for Command Agriculture and Presidential Input Support Scheme.

Biti’s troubles started after the MDC walked out on President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he came to Parliament to listen to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2020 budget presentation.

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front legislators hit back when they walked out of the Public Accounts Committee arguing that they could not attend meetings chaired by someone who did not recognize the President.

There has also been an argument in some quarters that Biti should not chair the committee hearings because he was implicated in a case in which the National Social Security Authority granted two banks, which have since gone bankrupt, some $30 million when he was Finance Minister.

Though Biti has been doing a magnificent job to get government ministries and departments to account for the money they were allocated or received from the government some critics argued that he seemed to have a score to settle with Mthuli Ncube and central bank governor John Mangudya.

Ironically, the squabbles with the Public Accounts Committee erupted when the committee was hearing evidence on Sakunda Holdings’ involvement in the Command Agriculture Programme.

The committee says Sakunda was paid over US$3 billion under the programme but Finance Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga said that less than $1 billion had been paid to the programme.

Sakunda Holdings boss Kuda Tagwirei is a member of the President’s Advisory Council.



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