He was contributing to the heated debate on why the government was interferring in the running of local authorities with the cases of the purchase of fire tenders from Belarus and the Pomona Waste project being cited as examples of government meddling.
There have been accusations that both projects were corruptly entered into with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cronies benefitting at the expense of ratepayers.
The government insists that both projects are above board.
Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi said yesterday she had asked the government to come up with a ministerial statement on the fire tenders on Thursday next week.
HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister for Local Government and Public Works. In view of devolution and decentralization, there are three levels of Government as in the Constitution; the national, provincial and local authority. I want to reference to Section 274 (1 of our Constitution which states that these manage their own affairs. I want to ask the Minister why there is interference from Central Government shoving down the throats of local authorities, for example yesterday to purchase fire tenders on their behalf. What kind of law is the Minister using to do this illegality? I thank you. – [HON. ZWIZWAI: She is there! She is there!] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry, sorry, sorry. Hon. Zwizwai, you advise the Chair politely. – [HON. ZWIZWAI: I am sorry Sir!] –
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am and Hon. Matewu for that very pertinent question. You started very well that we have three tiers of Government which is the central, provincial and the local authority, and they work in unison. I do not see anywhere where the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has interfered in the affairs of local authorities. – [HON. T. MLISWA: You sit on councils!] – We do not interfere. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Mliswa!
HON. MATEWU: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Hon. Minister did not answer my question, she just skirted around. However, my supplementary question is that the local authorities have to follow the Procurement Act. Why is the Procurement Act not being followed in ordering all local authorities to take their devolution funds and pay Belarus without any procurement? Why was this allowed to happen?
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matewu, you are not connected.
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