HURUNGWE West legislator Temba Mliswa yesterday grilled Justice and Legal Affairs minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in the National Assembly over the government’s lack of clarity on indigenisation of the Chisumbanje ethanol plant.
Mliswa had asked Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment deputy minister Mathias Tongofa to explain how government would ensure the Chisumbanje ethanol plant management complied with the 51% shareholding requirement as per Cabinet resolutions and when he failed to answer he fired the question to Mnangagwa.
“The process is still going on and we need to go and check the details and come back with a true picture,” Tongofa responded.
Mliswa was not satisfied with the response and challenged Mnangagwa in his capacity as leader of government business in the House to then answer the question as there was “rampant corruption in the country and citizens wanted to know if Cabinet was going to stick to its resolution”.
“Members of Cabinet are sworn to secrecy and I am surprised Mliswa is fully aware of debate that pursued in Cabinet, the contents and resolutions and to refer to Cabinet meetings is in violation of secrecy of Cabinet meetings. The deputy minister said he was not sure, but it is law in this country that investment of that magnitude will result in a 51% shareholding structure,” Mnangagwa said.
MDC-T legislators cheered during Mliswa’s persistent grilling of Mnangagwa.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda had to intervene and ordered Mliswa to stop asking further questions saying he was out of order.
Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya and Mabvuku Tafara MP James Maridadi (all MDC-T) also grilled Mnangagwa over Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s statements that the media should not write about corruption.
“What is government policy on such statements and are you singing from the same hymn book with Mujuru concerning corruption? Why is it that no one has been brought to book yet?” Chamisa said.
Mnangagwa said they were singing from the same hymn as they did not want corruption, adding some matters were sub judice and could not be discussed and would follow the rule of law and let investigations take place before prosecution.