What is it between Obert Mpofu and Masimirembwa – MP asks?


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Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi caused quite a stir in Parliament yesterday when he asked Transport Minister Obert Mpofu why Godwills Masimirembwa followed him wherever he went.

“When you were Minister of Industry and International Trade, you appointed one Masimirembwa, as Chairman of the Prices Commission. When you became Minister of Mines and Energy, you appointed him Chairman of ZMDC and now you are Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, you have appointed him as the Chairman of CMED. What is it that he does that you appoint him all the time?” he asked.

Mpofu replied: “I want to say this here and now, that Mr. Masimirembwa is the best there ever was and if a member has any ……. I do not regret having appointed Mr. Masimirembwa. He is a qualified Zimbabwean who has excelled in his functions that I have assigned him and I will appoint him again if need be. I do not regret having appointed him.”

 

Full Q & A:

 

MR. MARIDADI: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Minister, what policy framework informs the appointments that you do to parastatals that follow under your purview? I will state why I am asking this question. It appears there are people that follow you wherever you go. When you were Minister of Industry and International Trade, you appointed one Masimirembwa, as Chairman of the Prices Commission. When you became Minister of Mines and Energy, you appointed him Chairman of ZMDC and now you are Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, you have appointed him as the Chairman of CMED. What is it that he does that you appoint him all the time? – [HON.MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members. Can we hear the Minister answering the question that was asked?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. MPOFU): Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank my colleague for raising that question. He unfortunately has made reference to an individual who cannot – [MR. MARIDADI: That is why I asked you.] – defend himself but I will respond to the question.

There are procedures that are followed before board members are appointed and he is fully aware of those procedures as a former Government official. These procedures involve a lot of consultations with relevant authorities and it is also the prerogative of the Minister to appoint people he feels are fit to do a particular job. I want to say this here and now, that Mr. Masimirembwa is the best there ever was – [HON. MEMBERS: Aaah!] – and if a member has any –

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members. Order, Hon.Minister. Order, please. Hon. members, can you please give the Minister a chance to give you the appropriate answer.

MR. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order, Madam Speaker –

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Hon. member, please resume your seat.

DR. MPOFU: If we were to follow appointments of even some members of this hon. House, you will see a trend of consistent appointments to whatever responsibilities in their current positions but I do not want to go into that. I do not regret having appointed Mr. Masimirembwa. He is a qualified Zimbabwean who has excelled in his functions that I have assigned him and I will appoint him again if need be. I do not regret having appointed him.

MR. D.P SIBANDA: My supplementary question to the Minister arises after the Minister indicated that – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, let us have order.

MR. D.P SIBANDA: After the Minister indicated that the mentioned board member is qualified and competent, my supplementary question would be – if this stated person is so qualified and competent as indicated by the Minister, how come he was fired from ZMDC immediately after the Minister had left that Ministry?

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. There is no supplementary question. Can we have another question? Let us hear the question and then I will ask the Minister to respond.

MR. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, that was a relevant supplementary question and I feel you are gagging this House. We must be allowed to ask supplementary questions because that is relevant. I think the Hon. Member must be allowed to ask his supplementary question and the Minister must avail an answer. I think that was a relevant question.

MS. CHIMENE: My point of order is that we have only one Speaker and the Chair’s ruling is final. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Let us have order in this House. No more supplementary questions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

MR. GONESE: With due respect Madam Speaker, it is the policy of this House that when a question is asked, at least two supplementary questions are allowed. If the first supplementary question is out of order, other hon. members should be afforded the opportunity to ask an

appropriate supplementary question. We have got hon. members on this side of the House who still want to pose supplementary questions, and I submit that it is not appropriate to rule questions out of order before they have been asked.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, two people asked supplementary questions and that was Hon. Sibanda and Hon. Maridadi. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

MR. GONESE: Madam Speaker, Hon. Maridadi did not ask a question.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay Hon. Gonese, let us have a supplementary question.

*MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question relates to Mr. Masimirembwa whom the Hon. Minister has referred to as someone who is competent. We know his record. His Excellency, the President bemoaned the $6 million that was missing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

MR. MANDIPAKA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. What is your point of order Hon. Mandipaka?

*MR. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think we are reducing this Parliament into a nonentity by discussing personalities. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. Hon. Minister did you hear the question?

DR. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Member Sibanda for his question. I will comment on it if it was ruled out of order but while addressing Hon. Chamisa’s question. The gentleman they are referring to was never fired from ZMDC. He resigned to contest the elections. It is not fair Madam Speaker, for hon. members to mislead the House on issues that are based on speculation. Mr. Chamisa, former Minister and colleague of mine, is referring to issues that were addressed by His Excellency the President. Why should we be selective in our choice of issues? He should have gone further to say what the President said later. Let us not conduct ourselves in a manner that will demean the status of our citizens. According to me, Mr. Masimirembwa is very efficient and record speaks for itself. Thank you.

 

(456 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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