Zanu PF gags MPs on economy

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TWO Zanu PF Cabinet ministers last week reportedly ordered the party’s legislators to desist from raising questions touching on the country’s finances in Parliament claiming they put President Robert Mugabe in an awkward position.

Everson Mushave/Xolisani Ncube

Sources said the directive was made by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere during a Zanu PF caucus meeting in Harare last Wednesday.

MPs who attended the meeting told NewsDay that Chinamasa briefed them about Treasury’s empty coffers.

He reportedly said “things are not well and he was finding it hard to balance the country’s dry purse with competing needs”.

“Cde Chinamasa and Kasukuwere pleaded with us not to ask questions which would expose the failure of government on delivery,” said a Zanu PF MP who requested anonymity.

“They gave an example that we should avoid asking questions such as when will government pay farmers who would have delivered their crops to GMB (Grain Marketing Board) because this would expose government’s empty purse.”

Zanu PF chief whip Jorum Gumbo confirmed the meeting, but said he was out of the country at the time.

“I was not there, but I have asked my secretary to brief me on what happened and she said the meeting was chaired by Chinamasa and Kasukuwere,” he said.

Gumbo said from briefings he received, Kasukuwere pleaded with MPs to assist his commissariat department in campaigning for aspiring MPs ahead of the June 10 by-elections.

“Cde Kasukuwere, I am told spoke on the need to assist his department in campaigning for aspiring Zanu PF MPs wherever they are so that the party could win and Cde Chinamasa I am told addressed the meeting on property rights but if you were to ask those two, Cde Kasukuwere and Cde Chinamasa they would help you,” he said.

But insiders said the issue was raised by Kasukuwere who said some of the questions being raised by MPs especially those from rural areas exposed government’s failure to deliver on social services and could jeopardise the party’s public image.

After Kasukuwere’s address, sources said Chinamasa chipped in and informed the lawmakers that the country was no longer creditworthy.

The minister reportedly said Zimbabwe owed several countries and institutions huge sums of money hence it could not attract capital from multilateral institutions.

“Chinamasa said the country owed most countries and institutions in the West and East and they were no longer willing to lend Zimbabwe any money,” the source said.

“He said the only way the country could survive was through private partnerships.”

Another lawmaker said Chinamasa also briefed them on why government was failing to kick start the dualisation of Harare-Beitbridge highway as it was bankrupt.

The source said the government now pinned its hope on private partnerships that will see the highway being upgraded on a build, operate and transfer basis.

Zimbabwe has a foreign debt of over $10 billion and a local debt of over $700 million which it has been failing to service.

Efforts to get a comment from Kasukuwere and Chinamasa were fruitless yesterday as their mobile phones were unreachable with a text message sent to the Environment minister not being responded to.

But Gumbo said if the two ministers indeed gagged the MPs, he would challenge that as it was illegal and a violation of their rights as MPs.

“If it’s true that they said so, they are out of order. If I was there I would not have allowed such a thing to be said to our MPs,” he said.
“It’s an infringement on their rights and undemocratic.

“But as a I said, let me not comment much because I was not there until I get a detailed account of what happened, I will then speak about it.”

The Zanu PF campaign manifesto for the 2013 elections hinged on a swift economic revival but the promises have proved hollow as the economy continues on a downward spiral.

8 COMMENTS

  1. How about chinamasa and kasukuwere resigning? Come to think of it, i cannot think of anyone who has voluntarily resigned from zhanu-pf on they own accord…mmm zhanu surely looks like a criminal gang where the only way out of it is by purge or courtesy of an occassional ”car accident”

  2. Lord have mercy on my dearest Zimbabwe, has it really come to this now? Cheating the so called people you represent but then for how long are they going to bury their heads in sand like an ostrich, for how long will they hide behind their fingers?

  3. Don’t you worry, the dear leader has concluded all the support required from the Russians who have also promised to defend Zimbabwe? If you believe this then you believe the sun will come from the west???

  4. This country has become a clone of North Korea!!! Indeed the [economy cannot be rigged]. Instead of admitting their failures and seeking solutions or simply resigning, they ‘d rather bury their heads in the sand.

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  6. Listen! let us get one thing straight. No one is putting RGM in a difficult place. He got there all by himself. As a leader he is a total failure. Our economy is shot to ribbons and parly want to protect numero uno at the expense of an entire nation??? What sort of leadership is that??? Zim is finished whilst RGM is around and ZPF needs to wake up to the fact. they do NOT see a shred of truth anymore. Zimbabwe is one huge reproach. When a nation or anyone tries to hide the truth there is one huge problem. The truth will not be swept under the rug. God will not allow it. Wake up ZPF and repent!

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