Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono was yesterday chased away by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance after he failed to bring his 10-member board to appear before the committee.
Committee chairman Paddy Zhanda said they would not entertain Gono, his advisor Munyaradzi Kereke, one of the board members Retired Justice George Smith and board secretary Arthur Manase without the rest of the board members as the summons by the committee clearly stated that all board members be present.
The RBZ board members who failed to appear before the committee were Tony Hawkins, Godfrey Kanyenze, Daniel Ndlela, Nyasha Zhou, Willard Manungo, Mordecai Mahlangu, Charles Kuwaza and Primrose Kurasha.
Gono and his depleted team were chucked out shortly after they appeared before the committee as MPs accused them of snubbing Parliament business.
“Our concerns about the way we summoned you emanate from that the Standing Rules and Orders Committee of Parliament gives us the authority to invite people from all walks of life — except the President — to appear before the committee, and it is up to those people we have invited to re-arrange their diaries and reprioritise their arrangements in order to attend Parliament,” said Zhanda.
“It has taken us a long time to try to get your members to appear before the committee and this has resulted in us being unable to finish a report on the operations of banks that we want to present to Parliament.”
Zhanda said the committee wanted all the board members to give oral evidence so that when they produced the report, people would take the report seriously as it would show that during their investigations they left no stone unturned and consulted every player in the system.
He said the RBZ board had been failing to appear before the Budget and Finance committee for four months now, which slowed down progress in the committee’s work.
Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure said the behaviour of the RBZ board showed the oversight role by the committee meant nothing to the board.
“I think this is a snub, particularly of the parliamentary committee, and they are probably sending a message that we are not competent enough for them to appear before us.
However, we are here because of the constitutional mandate given to us by the people,” said Madzimure. Gono had to apologise to the committee on behalf of the board and said their failure to attend in full was because some members were tied up and not that they disregarded the importance of parliamentary committees.
“Allow me to say that the bank and its board regards Parliament and all its committees with the highest respect they deserve and the absence of the RBZ board members for one reason or the other should not be misconstrued to imply otherwise,” said Gono.
He said he would ensure the board members appeared before the committee in two weeks’ time without failure.