Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairman Tafadzwa Musarara yesterday made sensational claims that Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena was using Parliament to settle personal scores after he failed to land a grain transportation contract.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Musarara made the claims in Parliament after a stormy meeting in which Wadyajena barred him from speaking through his lawyers when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture.
The GMAZ boss was supposed to answer questions on how his company, Drotsky was involved in the US$28,2 million from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to import grain.
Drotsky, a member of GMAZ, was authorised by millers to bring imported wheat.
Musarara brought his lawyer Lewis Uriri after Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda, on Tuesday consented to his request to have legal representation in the hearing.
But Wadyajena said Chokuda’s letter only allowed Musarara to come in the company of the lawyers who would not speak on his behalf.
“. . . all questions will be put to the client (Musarara) who will answer, but may be allowed to consult his lawyer (Uriri) wherever necessary,” Wadyajena said.
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Wadyajena’s remarks triggered emotions with Musarara threatening to walk out of the meeting. “I am not going to proceed if my rights are trampled. I am going to walk out,” he said.
“Your interpretation of the letter is wrong,” Musarara added, resulting in Wadyajena shouting “Order”. Musarara then shouted back, “Order to you too chairman”.
Wadyajena had to adjourn the committee temporarily to consult with Chokuda on the way forward.
Later, he said: “We have to excuse you, but I must highlight that as a committee we will proceed with our report on the issue,” he said.
“The RBZ governor John Mangudya issued documents before Parliament which show that you got US$28,2 million to import grain.
“He also provided documents on the issue of who made the application. You said it was Drotsky, but the documents show that it was GMAZ.”
But after the meeting, Musarara told journalists that Wadyajena was bitter because he failed to get a contract to transport grain.
“He (Wadyajena) was looking for a transport contract because the chairman of the Lands and Agriculture Committee has a transport company. That is why we said he must be recused from chairing because he is conflicted,” Musarara said.
Wadyajena, however, denied the claims, telling journalists that although he has a transport business, he never had business relations with Musarara.
Musarara said that his company, Drotsky had actually saved the country from hunger in 2016/2017 when it brought in the grain on behalf of eight other milling companies under GMAZ who also acknowledged that they received delivery of the grain.
“We feel it is acrimony and that this enquiry has another agenda,” Musarara said.
“2016/17 had problems with foreign currency and Holbud is the biggest supplier to government which could not raise letters of credit (LCs) to pay them upfront.
“I went on to use my capital to bring this wheat and Holbud said they were going to consign it in my name instead of consigning it to all eight millers.
“The RBZ acknowledged that they received money from GMAZ and remitted it through our bankers Ecobank. The wheat came and we gave it to all the millers.”
Wadyajena said they will now proceed to do a report on his committee’s findings to be tabled before Parliament.