Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi says Information Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira must be charged with contempt of Parliament for inferring that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT was colluding with suspended NetOne chief executive officer Reward Kangai to tarnish his name.
Kangai told the committee that Mandiwanzira suspended him because he had refused pay $4 million to a company called Megawatt owned by Chinese businessman Li Xiaodong, whom he said was in business with Mandiwanzira.
Kangai said his suspension was not a directive from the board but was issued by Mandiwanzira whose South African company Blue Nightingale Trading was in business with Li ‘s three companies, Eliz, Ceesec and Megawatt.
Mandiwanzira said he was surprised that Kangai, who was on forced leave, was given an opportunity to by the national assembly to testify.
He said in a statement: “I have noted the presentation before the ICT Portfolio committee by NetOne CEO, Mr Reward Kangai yesterday. I am surprised that a CEO who is on forced leave to pave way for a corruption probe at NetOne by the Comptroller and Auditor General through PWC – could be granted such rare opportunity. I am aware that the Parliament hearing and other activities I have ignored are meant to pre-empt the audit report and intimidate the auditor. These cheap efforts shall not succeed.
“In order not to play into the hands of those behind the shenanigans, I shall be issuing a robust and comprehensive statement on the scurrilous allegations levelled against me – only when the audit report is out. I am informed that the forensic audit report is less than thirty days from being finalised.”
Maridadi said yesterday Mandiwanzira must be found in contempt of Parliament for issuing this statement to the media because it violated the country’s constitution.
HON. MARIDADI: I rise on a point of order Madam Speaker, as read in conjunction with Section 148, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament. This arises after the Portfolio Committee on ICT, chaired by Hon. Chamisa invited the suspended Chief Executive Officer of NetOne, Reward Kangai to give evidence. He gave evidence to the Portfolio Committee and made some allegations against Minister Supa Mandiwanzira. In response, Minister Supa Mandiwanzira infers that Parliament is colluding with Mr. Kangai so that they can tarnish the name of the Minister.
Madam Speaker, Section 148 of the Constitution says that, Standing Orders will define conduct which constitute contempt of Parliament, whether committed by Members of Parliament or other people. Schedule 8 says, “molesting, assaulting or threatening a witness on account of evidence given by him or her before Parliament or a Committee.” Madam Speaker, I think Hon. Mandiwanzira should be found in contempt of Parliament for the statements that he made in the Newspaper. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Maridadi. We will look into the matter but I also advise that before you present, I think as the Chair, I would like to know what you want to present.