Monday, 14 October 2019

BITI COMMITTEE FUMES AS RBZ OFFICIALS ARE NO SHOW IN PARLY


THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe senior management yesterday riled Members of Parliament after they failed to attend a Public Accounts Portfolio Committee meeting aimed at responding to issues raised by the Auditor General’s report regarding utilisation of $840 million on Command Agriculture.

Legislators threatened to invoke Standing Orders and charge RBZ Deputy Governor Dr Kupukile Mlambo with Contempt of Parliament after his no show.

During the meeting, it also emerged that RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya sent an apology saying he was in Washington DC, United States of America, where he is attending the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

Committee chairperson, Mr Tendai Biti, said they were riled by Dr Mlambo’s failure to attend yesterday’s meeting.

“So we are now summoning the RBZ and in particular Dr Mlambo and his officials to appear before us at 0900hrs on October 24, 2019. Should they default we will then instruct the Clerk of Parliament to issue of a warrant for the formal arrest of the aforementioned individuals. We want to publicly express our disappointment, our indignation, our rejection of the conduct of RBZ and Dr Mlambo,” said Mr Biti who is also Harare East MP.

“All of you know that the amounts we are talking about are huge, that were spent outside the budget and without approval.”

Mr Biti said the meeting was part of their work in respect of the agricultural vote which he said started as a routine basic inquiry. 

“However, due to the answers we got from the Ministry of Agriculture pertaining to what the auditor described as an unallocated reserve of $840 million, the inquiry has now effectively converted itself into a full inquiry. In our last meeting we directed Dr Mlambo that they had to be here for this session and they could only be excused if Dr Mangudya was in attendance,” said Mr Biti.

“We have no reason why Dr Mlambo and others are not in attendance. We find the same to be in contempt of Parliament. We find their conduct reprehensible, unacceptable and a total disrespect of Parliament.

“We have also received some documents from the Ministry of Finance pertaining to payment to some individuals, huge amounts paid. There are discrepancies and more questions raised than answers provided vis a vis those documents.

“We are resummoning on Friday the 25th of October, Ministry of Finance officials. On that same day we will receive evidence from key suppliers from FSG, Pedstock Investment and Croco Motors. We are going to summon Sakunda on a separate day. With Sakunda we need the whole day.”

Later on the committee heard that a private firm, Solution Motors, failed to deliver some of the vehicles that they had been contracted to despite receiving full payment from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

Company managing director, Mr Patrick Siyawamwaya, said they were keen to fulfil their contract but exchange control fluctuations had hampered them from delivering the vehicles within the agreed time. Herald

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