PARLIAMENT will today question the Zimbabwe Nationals Road Administration (Zinara) over the state of affairs at the parastatal which has, of late, hogged news headlines because of corrupt practices.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
This week’s Parliament committee schedule states that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport, chaired by Shamva North MP Oscar Gorerino, will grill Zinara over the state of affairs at the parastatal.
When Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza appeared recently before Parliament to answer on issues to do with corruption at Zinana, he admitted that the road authority lost millions of dollars to corruption and several malpractices in tender and job contracts.
Matiza promised the Tendai Biti-led Public Accounts Portfolio Committee, which expressed dismay over massive corruption at Zinara, that heads would roll at the institution, where managers enjoyed excessive allowances while the country’s roads were in very bad shape.
There was misuse of $71 million earmarked for special projects; awarding of millions worth of contracts to the same companies, for example, Univern without going to tender — prejudicing the country of millions of dollars through contracts that were poorly negotiated with Univern; and the $8 million graders tender scam and several issues of mismanagement, including hefty salaries and allowances for Zinara officials.
“The law is taking its course and some people are paying bail now for such rotten work at Zinara, and the new Zinara board, chaired by former deputy Transport minister Michael Madanha, has put in place a programme to ensure that there is financial probity at Zinara and the results will be foreseeable in the future and I can assure you that you will soon see things unravelling,” Matiza told MPs recently.
Meanwhile, the Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services Portfolio Committee, chaired by Umzingwane MP Levi Mayihlome, will also question Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and the immigration department on the challenges faced by their departments at Zimbabwe’s points of entry, where millions of dollars are said to be getting lost through smuggling.
The Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Parliamentary Portfolio Committee will also hear teachers concerns over poor salaries after the Zimbabwe Teachers Association and the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe raised concern that teachers’ salaries had been eroded by inflation.
They demanded that part of teachers salaries, $200, be paid in United States dollars, but government then introduced Statutory Instrument 142 of 2009, which re-introduced the use of the Zimbabwean dollar as the sole legal tender in Zimbabwe, effectively quashing the teachers’ demands.