A Member of Parliament has blamed the inclusive government for the corruption now rampant in the country saying the situation was not this bad between independence in 1980 and 2007.
Contributing to the debate on good governance, Kwekwe Central legislator Masango Matambanadzo said: “I am here to say the truth. The truth of the matter is that the Inclusive Government is the causative agent that caused corruption to become so rampant.
“Yes, people make mistakes here and there but our situation was not so bad from 1980 to 2007. Things were still fine but after the Inclusive Government assumed office that was when this salarygate started.
“Who was supposed to be in control then? It was the responsibility of the ministers of the Inclusive Government and not our current ministers. So, I am not going to allow anyone to accuse our ministers,” he said.
MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I was saying when we started this debate, we were united. I would like to urge the members on the opposite side to remain united with us so that we can put an end to this scourge. Each and everything that happens on this earth or even in our country has its own beginning, when did this start? What or who caused this corruption to become such a dangerous thing in our country? Who is the causer? Have you ever asked yourselves as to who caused this? The culprit is the previous Government and not the current Government – [HON. MEMBERS:Hear, hear] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am here to say the truth. The truth of the matter is that the Inclusive Government is the causative agent that caused corruption to become so rampant. Yes, people make mistakes here and there but our situation was not so bad from 1980 to 2007. Things were still fine but after the Inclusive Government assumed office that was when this salary gate started. Who was supposed to be in control then? It was the responsibility of the ministers of the Inclusive Government and not our current ministers. So, I am not going to allow anyone to accuse our ministers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – yes.
Mr. Speaker Sir, an hon. member stated, big fish, big fish. Yes, they are saying so today because their big fish have left since they were voted out yet they were the ones who caused these problems. Our country is now suffering because of their irresponsible actions. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Hon. member, are you suggesting that we follow and arrest them? Yes, we are going to arrest them because they are responsible for our problems. I want to warn members on the opposite side not to take advantage by trying to denounce the current Government …
MR. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I think the hon. member must direct his facts to a point in naming people rather than putting a clause to a cause which is not clear. The hon. member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection] – is having a diversion to the motion which he is supposed to address and is so much into invoking a threatening presentation to the other side.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Unfortunately, I was not paying attention as he was debating but from what you are saying, I do not see any sense of a point of order. Hon. member, you may continue.
MR. MATAMBANADZO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am saying this because the issue of salaries did not start with our current Government but was in existence well before. People used to be awarded salary increments accordingly but during the tenure of the Inclusive Government, the awarding of hefty salaries became the order of the day.
There were ministers who were supposed to curb this practice but they did not do anything about it as they were influencing these Chief Executive Officers. Today, I heard that teachers are also involved in this corruption scandal by asking for money from parents who want to secure places for their children and for extra lessons. We are faced with problems even in our schools and we ask ourselves, who introduced this system? It was the Inclusive Government. The former Minister of Education introduced this system in schools, hence our children are not getting the requisite education as teachers are concentrating on the children who would have paid for extra lessons. Today you are trying to campaign in this House in order to gain political mileage but we are not going to allow you to instill such a mentality in our people. You lied to them on several occasions and you still want to continue but why, is the million dollar question?
Mr. Speaker Sir, this subject is very sensitive, we should carefully look at it and deal with it in a smart manner. We must not forget that we have enemies in our midst who will take advantage of the situation and feed lies to our people. We should deal with this issue very carefully…
MR. DUBEKO SIBANDA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. The hon. member, in his debate, is indicating that there is an enemy in this House. We desire him to explain who the enemy is or whether certain members in this House can be regarded to be enemies? – [HON.MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, you may resume your debate, there is no point of order.
MR. MATAMBANADZO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am saying we should deal with this issue very carefully because we are coming from our constituencies where people are affected by all these things. We should listen very carefully to our constituents when they air their grievances. Yes, we are all here but we must stop posing a united front. They say, if you cannot beat them, join them. We know that and we should be careful because corruption was started by those who are pretending to be clever today. They try to blame the new Government – which is clean. We are here to solve the problems and to clean your mess – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Mr. Mahlangu?
MR. MAHLANGU: Hon. Kuruneri was raising his hand and I was just helping him – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
MR. MATAMBANADZO: Mr. Speaker Sir, there are some salaries that were reduced by 70%. Everybody in that sector was affected; whether they were getting $100 or $150, their salary was reduced by 70%, which is very wrong. Let us focus on the people who were influenced, that is, the CEOs, Managing Directors and General Managers. These are the people who were influenced to give each other huge salaries. Let us deal with people at those levels, and not all the employees at lower grades. We should also give them time to explain why they were giving each other such kind of salaries. Who gave them the permission?
You will find that we are going to arrest those people who were Ministers in the Inclusive Government because they are the trouble causers. They gave the CEOs and General Managers wrong advice yet they know that tomorrow they will turn and destroy them. If they get arrested, Mr. Speaker Sir, these people from the opposition will visit them in the prisons. They will tell them that you are suffering because you did not run away from this country during the time when some were fleeing to Britain. You are now locked because the ZANU PF Government is bad. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – They will talk like that and we should be very careful on this case. Let us not be used but let us talk and give them warnings and not to arrest anyone in this case.
I want to give an example Mr. Speaker Sir. Harare City Council had 100% MDC management from the Mayor up to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, but I was surprised when we were shown some pictures that there were houses which were built on top of sewer pipes. They were given permission by these Ministers. This is why we did not demolish them because they wanted to paint a bad picture of us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Why is the hon. member sitting down? Please continue with your debate.
MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. You can see even now because of their behaviour, they are trying to confuse me. I think this case should be dealt with in a clever way because we are now being asked to clean the mess which was made by others. They did this knowing that they were not going to win the elections. They wanted to capitalise on that subject. We have got some employees who did not go out of the country. They decided to stay and suffer with us in running these companies. Today, their reward is to be locked behind bars. I do not think that is a good idea. Let us tell them not to continue paying one another such huge salaries and give them reasonable salaries.
I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.