HomeNewsAAG calls for dissolution of empowerment boards

AAG calls for dissolution of empowerment boards

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THE Affirmative Action Group (AAG) yesterday pleaded with Parliament to pressure President Robert Mugabe to invoke Presidential powers and disband some local empowerment boards which were allegedly abusing the country’s indigenisation laws to milk government entities.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

AAG president Chamunorwa Chiwanza told the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Portfolio Committee chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena that corruption levels in quasi-government boards had reached alarming levels especially among those tasked to enforce the indigenisation policy.

Chiwanza cited the Essar deal which he said was shoddy and needed to be reversed, describing it as “daylight robbery where the then Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube shot from the hip when he signed the deal”.

“There are people we know participating in the fuel and banking industries who have fronted for foreigners, and even some of the mining companies which were struggling to contribute to community share ownership trusts – half of them are fronting for foreigners,” Chiwanza said.

“Some companies that are said to be now indigenised are not at all and one of the boards that the committee should ask the President to dissolve is the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and its chief executive officer Wilson Gwatiringa must be fired.”

Gwatiringa and his board are alleged to have fraudulently signed indigenisation papers for several companies.

The committee also called for the disbandment of the State Procurement Board (SPB) which was said to be awarding a lot of dubious tenders to favoured individuals and foreigners.

“We urge Parliament to ask the President to invoke the Presidential Powers Act to nullify some of these boards, for example the SPB which we believe is there to empower a chosen few. We are saying there is corruption at the SPB and it should be disbanded,” Chiwanza said.

The committee also blasted the Rent Board for being inefficient and the Messenger of Court for alleged selective application of the law in attaching debtors’ properties.

“We are also surprised that some people in the Zimbabwe Investment Authority like its chairman Nigel Chanakira sometimes criticise the President and yet he is someone who is supposed to promote investment,” Chiwanza said.

Businessman Billy Rautenbach, former Energy and Power Development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and Chiredzi South MP Callisto Gwanetsa (Zanu PF), among others were fingered by the AAG as having been involved in shady land deals at Tongaat Hullets.

AAG chief executive officer Davison Gomo said foreigners were also being given business licences to operate in fields supposed to be for Zimbabweans, thus disadvantaging locals. He called for clarity on some clauses in the indigenisation law, as well as possible amendments in order to economically empower locals.

Wadyajena asked the AAG to submit documentary evidence as well as names of companies and individuals that flouted the indigenisation laws to Parliament.

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