Government ministers should be given fixed terms of office because corruption starts to thrive when they stay too long as they start believing that no one can tell them what to do.
“The issue of having ministers heading a ministry for five to 15 years has caused this corruption because they will get to a point where they feel no one can tell them what to do,” Muzarabani North Member of Parliament Alfred Mufunga said during the debate on the Premier Service Medical Aid Society scandal.
“..I think that the Ministers should be given a term of office, if it is three or five years, it should be put in writing. This will be unlike a situation where one minister spends so many years in a ministry, I am totally against that”
Mufunga said Eddie Cross, who introduced the motion calling on those involved in the PSMAS scandal to be brought to book, was patriotic and had shown that he was elected by the people.
Cross is a member of the Movement for Democratic Change while Mufunga belongs to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front but Mufunga said people need to be united to fight against corruption.
*HON. MUFUNGA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am deeply concerned by the motion moved by Hon. Cross. Hon. Cross has reflected that he was elected by the people of Zimbabwe and is patriotic. This motion really pained me and I would not try to explain on what has already been said. I recall that there are board members and there is a board of commission that looks into the issues of corruption. I think the board should emerge from Parliament. The members should be interrogated by Parliament and we should determine who should constitute the board. This is for the reason that, all the corruption that happened was under the eyes of those board members.
The board members happen to be relatives of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). Therefore, I think Parliament should be given the mandate to elect board members. This issue will never be put to rest if we do not unite. I was thinking about the Minister of Health and Child Care and the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Those are the people who should come into the House to enlighten us on what exactly happened for this issue to go on unnoticed until today. It is disheartening that we were elected by the people and they are not getting the services we pledged to provide. Therefore we need a full day in order to debate this issue until it is exhausted.
I was thinking that as Hon. Members of Parliament who were elected by millions of Zimbabweans, we should have ensured that the people responsible for these skirmishes should have been suspended immediately, pending investigations. As the august House, if other Presidents are given 10 years in prison for engaging in corrupt activities, how about the Ministers? The issue of having Ministers heading a Ministry for five to 15 years has caused this corruption because they will get to a point where they feel no one can tell them what to do.
If you go to Muzarabani, I am well known. Muzarabani is popular for voting, but nothing is being done in terms of development because the money is being taken by corrupt people. Madam Speaker, I was thinking that the Ministers from Health and Child Care and the Public Service, Labour and Social Services should come and assist us in this House by enlightening us on how this ‘animal’ came into being and where they were when all this was happening. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not want to say a lot. However, I think that the Ministers should be given a term of office, if it is three or five years, it should be put in writing. This will be unlike a situation where one Minister spends so many years in a Ministry, I am totally against that. I cannot say much. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.