Corruption – MP says legislators must clean their house first


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The Member of Parliament for Bindura South Remigio Toendepi Matangira supported the idea of Parliament playing an oversight role to curb corruption but added that members of the National Assembly must themselves be clean first.

“Corruption is with us here, in the National Assembly. We come here for 30 minutes and 25% of the people go out. Two hours later, 15% because their allowances and salaries are going to come. It is now exactly 5:05p. m. Let us look around and see how many we are here. Is this not corruption?

“If it is corruption then we have got to sweep our own house first. It is testified by the Bible two times. That a woman that had been sinful was supposed to be killed by stoning. Whether they were Islamic or Hebrews, they were giving the last prayer. When Jesus got there they said that it was the law.

“He said to them he who has not sinned take a stone and throw it at her. No one did that, so what it means is that if we want to talk about corruption, it is us who should say we are not supposed to be corrupt and we have got to do right before we can stand up and talk about corruption. We can do away with corruption. It is not a problem,” Matangira said in his contribution to the debate on good governance.

 

Full contribution:

 

MR. MATANGIRA: I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this very important motion raised by Hon. Madzimure. I am touched by this motion. For the first time, in my history, in this august House; the House has agreed to deal with an evil that sends the entire nation into poverty which is called corruption. To me, it is a sign of maturity in governance building. If we keep this mentality of unity when it comes actually to state issues, governance and the people that we represent in this august House, Zimbabwe is going to be prosperous and very productive. We are also going to be productive hon. members.

I want to bring ourselves to the global village. If we go to Europe, the people that talk about democracy and corruption, I am referring to Britain and America, are nowhere near the top five countries that are not corrupt. America sits on 16 to 18 and Britain is not counted. Corruption is rampant there in Europe.

Mr. Speaker, in Africa, Zimbabwe is sitting on number three after Nigeria and Egypt, which is a sad situation. We have got a lot of impediments but I do not want to dwell much on the ministries and parastatals of Government but I am saying corruption is not a result of salaries earned by people, positions that people might have and the wealth that people might have. I will give you an example of where you actually go to the Passport Office; honestly we cannot blame the Minister of that particular department.

The person that issues passports wants a bribe, the person in the industrial site will say, you have to fall in love with me first before I give you a job and we cannot blame the Minister for that. The economy and people of this country are suffering because of corruption.

Mr. Speaker, the Head of State of Zimbabwe denounces corruption. We have a legacy that we ought to maintain as a country. Those that did literature, look at Julius Caesar. He died and was buried. Mark Hampton went to bury him. He was a man good to the Romans.

Again as Zimbabweans, we are saying the President is saying we do not want corruption but what are we doing as legislators in this House? You go to Mozambique, in Portuguese they say kabitu comesa on the marato, meaning the goat is going to eat where it is tied.

Mr. Speaker, we have agreed corruption is not right, God has spoken to say in 1995 there was this scandal and in 1999, there was this scandal, in 2001, there was that scandal et cetera. Those are symptoms. What is the disease? What do you do to those who are affected by the disease? It is the oversight of this House now. As hon. members, we must read the Riot Act. I do not want to waste much of the time here. Yes, we may want to debate if we have agreed but let us save the time and act.

The only way to curb corruption is; we have got Parliamentary Committees. We have to set a Special Committee on Corruption derived from all other committees. We do not want people to choose people who are friends or the ‘I do not care type’ who must work hand in hand with the Anti Corruption Commission. Any case of corruption will come to that committee. That special committee can now send the Anti Corruption Commission to go and investigate, if substantiated, let the Judiciary play its role. Mr. Speaker, the police has got to arrest and try those people.

We have agreed, the question I am asking myself is what is done when a motion has been moved? The motion has been unanimously agreed by every hon. member in this House. How long should we take debating it? I have heard before that forewarned is forearmed. If you are talking about someone who is corrupt and you take two weeks to deal with it, that person will go and destroy the evidence.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there are numerous cases, to mention a few. When we go to Rural District Councils where I come from, a CEO does something and he is accused of having stolen money. He is arrested, suspended and he is supposed to be in jail but he is still living in the same house that he used to stay, costing the tax payer money and is still being paid.

I think it is high time that we actually respect our President. He speaks day in and day out – negate, negate corruption. The corrupt people are causing the outside world to fear Zimbabwe. We cannot borrow money because they say, bad governance allows corruption to be rampant. God has given us enough rains this year; we have to say this is a crossing point.

Thirteen years of problems, no agreements in the House of Assembly. We have a motion that has united us and if at all we could keep it up for the sake of building the country. We have to mention where corruption is coming from because it is not coming from one party. Corruption is an individual. So every corrupt person should be tried but the last thing I am going to say, in the Bible they say, you must not take out a spike in another man’s eye when you have got a log in your own eye.

Corruption is with us here, in the National Assembly. We come here for 30 minutes and 25% of the people go out. Two hours later, 15% because their allowances and salaries are going to come. It is now exactly 5:05p. m. Let us look around and see how many we are here. Is this not corruption? If it is corruption then we have got to sweep our own house first. It is testified by the Bible two times. That a woman that had been sinful was supposed to be killed by stoning. Whether they were Islamic or Hebrews, they were giving the last prayer.

When Jesus got there they said that it was the law. He said to them he who has not sinned take a stone and throw it at her. No one did that, so what it means is that if we want to talk about corruption, it is us who should say we are not supposed to be corrupt and we have got to do right before we can stand up and talk about corruption. We can do away with corruption. It is not a problem.

I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. This will go a long way. We are coming from the rural areas and our people are supposed to get what they are meant to get but they do not get it. Corruption is not serving this country in any way. So, he who is found to be corrupt let the arm of justice take its course because the highest office of this land is saying pasi necorruption. I want to thank you.

(9 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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