GMB board should be asked to account for the mess at the parastatal-MP


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The management of the Grain Marketing Board and its management board must be brought to book because the level of irresponsibility that comes out of the audit reports of the parastatal is extremely shocking, the Member of Parliament for Mazowe South Fortune Chasi says.

“It is an extremely depressing report from a governance point of view, from a mandate point of view, financial management point of view and from a human resource point of view,” he said in his contribution to the debate on the audit reports for the GMB from 2011 to 2014.

“I think the officials at the GMB must be brought to account. It is time that the law must be brought to bear on civil servants who believe that their positions are simply for self-gratification.

“In the past few days, we were engaged in a debate surrounding the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and the question of corporate governance seems to rear its head all the time.

“The regret in this instance is the fact that the parent Ministry from the report, has not paid due attention to the operations of the GMB. I want to suggest that in addition to the 11 recommendations by the Committee, the Public Management Act, whose provisions are very explicit and clear, should be brought to bear on each and every person at GMB who has caused loss to the public.”

 

Full contribution:

HON. CHASI: Thank you very much Madam Chair for giving me the opportunity to comment on the detailed report by the Public Accounts Committee. I listened very carefully to this report and I regret to say that I did not find any single positive thing about the GMB Report.   It is an extremely depressing report from a governance point of view, from a mandate point of view, financial management point of view and from a human resource point of view.

Madam Chair, the tragedy is that this board was set up to maintain and run the national strategic reserves which are necessary when the country gets into difficulties in terms of ensuring that there is food security. My major concern is the apparent lack of interest by the parent Ministry in managing the GMB. One would expect that the Ministry would keep a tag on the expiring date of the sitting board. I think that is a very key deliverable from the Ministry and the fact that we have an ostensibly illegal board in situ, we should not be surprised.

If people go about setting up companies without the relevant authority, it means that the board itself is not conscious of its legal obligations. If it cannot manage the legal risks that are attached to it being a legal board, how then can it manage other types of legal risks that are attached to its work? As I said, almost everything is wrong and the board has failed to maintain the apparatus which it was given by the Government. We are told that the silos were not maintained. We are told that a considerable amount of grain was downgraded because it was not given due attention.

This is a country which, for quite a number of years, has been importing grain from neighbouring countries. I think the level of irresponsibility that comes out of that report is extremely shocking. I want to support the recommendations by the Committee. However, I also want to say that the Public Finance Management Act is very clear in terms of what is expected of those who have been given the responsibility to run public property or public funds.

I think the officials at the GMB must be brought to account. It is time that the law must be brought to bear on civil servants who believe that their positions are simply for self-gratification. In the past few days, we were engaged in a debate surrounding the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and the question of corporate governance seems to rear its head all the time. The regret in this instance is the fact that the parent Ministry from the report, has not paid due attention to the operations of the GMB. I want to suggest that in addition to the 11 recommendations by the Committee, the Public Management Act, whose provisions are very explicit and clear, should be brought to bear on each and every person at GMB who has caused loss to the public. I thank you.

(42 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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