BY VENERANDA LANGA
Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) yesterday called for rotation of parliamentary portfolio committee chairpersons in a move targeted at removal of Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena, who leads the Agriculture committee.
Mliswa raised this as a matter of privilege with the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda during the first sitting of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament.
“For example, Wadyajena only chairs committees, but if you check he does not really attend parliamentary sittings.”
Mudenda said the issue of reshuffling of committees was the prerogative of the sponsoring party and the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.
Mliswa also complained of delays by Parliament to issue findings on investigations into allegations that he together with three other MPs, Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Binga North), Anele Ndebele (Magwegwe), and Gokwe Kabuyuni MP Leonard Chikomba, demanded a US$400 000 bribe from Bulawayo businessman James Goddard.
“I am an international business person and the fact that the report has been in your office for a long time is affecting my business. We were labelled corrupt and I do not know how long it will take for that report to be released to clear the matter,” he said.
Mudenda said Mliswa needs to disabuse the notion that he as the Speaker was holding onto the report on the investigations of the bribery allegations.
“The chairperson of the Privileges Committee has that report. I am advised that they have finished compiling it. The chairperson Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira is away and when he comes back, he must be able to table it,” Mudenda said.
Meanwhile, Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese (MDC Alliance) demanded an explanation from the Speaker on the rationale he used to deny the five months’ sitting allowances for MDC legislators who walked out on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address last month.
Before Gonese could finish his sentence, Mudenda had already quashed him and ruled him out of order.
“I did not listen to you right up to the end because your party has written a letter to the chair (Speaker) seeking explanation and, therefore, you cannot have your cake and eat it,” Mudenda said.